London – Toyota further stamped its early-season World Endurance Championship dominance at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, leading the field home with a one-two finish.
Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima and his co-drivers Sebastian Buemi and Anthony Davidson took a second victory in as many races, finishing just under 2 seconds ahead of the Toyota sister car with the Porsche No. 2 car 35 seconds back down the road.
“It was a difficult race on our car and I have mixed feelings to be honest,” said Nakajima, referencing an unlucky series of yellow caution flags that handed the slower Toyota No. 9 car the lead late in the race. “I’m happy to be on the middle step of the podium but car No. 7 was really unlucky.”
“In the end it was a great result for the team and it’s good to know that our car is getting a bit of luck this year after having none at all in 2016.”
Kamui Kobayashi, who piloted the No. 7 Toyota to second along with Mike Conway, rued the bad luck that saw his teammates take the lead when Conway brought the car into the pits under yellow at the famous Belgian circuit.
“Our car was really fast today, we just lost the race due to bad luck. At the end I caught up with Sebastien (Buemi) but in the last laps it’s not fair to attack when we are running one-two so I just followed him,” said Kobayashi, the Japanese former F1 driver.
“It’s nice for the team to score maximum points from the race.”
The Nakajima, Davidson and Buemi Toyota trio lead the driver’s championship standings with a maximum 50 points after two races. Porsche’s two, three-driver teams sit in second and third with Kobayashi and Conway in fourth. Toyota leads Porsche by 8.5 points in the manufacturers’ race with the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour the next race on the calendar in June.