Toyota Gazoo Racing Heads Into Uncharted Territory at Imola

April 16, 2024Ramon Jones

This week’s 6 hour race at Imola marks the first visit for Toyota Gazoo Racing and their World Endurance Championship program. The 2024 season got off to a great start for the Japanese manufacturer with a both cars scoring points in the season opener in Qatar. Toyota Gazoo Racing currently sits 2nd in the WEC championship standings. They will be looking to make a charge for first place this weekend in it’s first visit to Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Imola replaces Monza as the circuit is currently undergoing renovations.

Words From Toyota Gazoo Racing

Kamui Kobayashi (Team Principal and driver, car #7):

“I am looking forward to racing again at Imola and getting back behind the wheel of the GR010 HYBRID. I had a great experience in NASCAR at Austin last month, but now it’s back to WEC business and I’m fully focused on Imola…I raced quite a lot in Italy as a young driver, so I know the track well, and I won races there too. It will be a challenge to win this weekend on a new track for our car, but we are pushing hard together as one team to get the best possible result. As always, the key will be to make a strong start in practice and quickly find a good set-up direction for our car, then execute a clean race, using our experience and team spirit.”

The Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC Racing Team. Photo courtesy of Toyota Gazoo Racing

Ryo Hirakawa (Driver, car #8):

“Imola is another new track to learn with our GR010 HYBRID, but I tested a Formula 1 car there last month and raced an LMP2 in ELMS a few years ago so I am quite familiar with the layout. I expect it will be exciting to drive with a Hypercar and it should be spectacular for the fans. I hope this track will be more suited to our car compared to Qatar, which was a difficult weekend. The team has worked hard to prepare and find ways to come back stronger. I can’t wait to get started.”

Nyck de Vries (Driver, car #7):

“I’m looking forward to the start of the European season and we’re expecting a lot of Italian fans, so the atmosphere should be something special. It’s a new track on the WEC calendar, and it’s very narrow and challenging, so it’s exciting to see how we get on as a team. It’s a short event compared to Qatar, and we don’t get that much track time prior to the race, so we need to hit the ground running. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and fight at the front.”