Toyota Racing began their 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) campaign with a podium at the Six Hours of Silverstone.
Anthony Davidson, Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi took the #8 2012-specification TS030 Hybrid to the team’s fifth podium in seven races, following an all-Toyota front row, with the #8 car starting behind the #7 machine of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre.
The two Audis quickly dispatched the Toyotas under race conditions, with tyre issues plaguing the #7 and #8 machines, before rain began to play its part in the proceedings, creating tricky conditions neither suiting slicks or intermediate tyres.
With the track back to slick conditions, both Toyotas switched to the alternative Michelin tyre compound and started showing a strong pace, but could not close the gap to the leading Audi duo. As the race drew to a close, Anthony Davidson drove the car over the line to finish third, with Alex Wurz close behind in fourth.
“That was a tough race and one of the harder podiums of my career.” Commented Davidson. “It was a case of the tyres being out of their temperature range; we were suffering from graining and a lack of front grip.
“Both Alex and I had to nurse them through the first stint and we were not able to double stint with them. We changed to a different compound towards the end and the track temperatures dropped more which helped us. That’s why our speed came back, but it was not enough.”