Toyota Gazoo Racing will begin the defence of its FIA World Endurance Championship title this weekend when the 2019-2020 series opens with the 4 Hours of Silverstone.
It is the first race in the WEC’s modern era to be held over four hours, during which the leading cars can expect to complete close to 500 miles. The remaining seven rounds of this global championship include two new circuits – Bahrain and São Paulo – while the cross-year format reaches its finale with the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Home favourite Mike Conway leads the Silverstone line-up in the #7 car, alongside Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, while in the #8 car world champions Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima are joined by debutant Brendon Hartley.
The TS050 Hybrids will compete in their new high-downforce specification at Silverstone
“Silverstone is a special place for me,” said Conway. “Not only as my home race but because the track itself is really cool, with fast and flowing corners. When you put together a fast lap there, it is very rewarding. There’s always a big crowd and I have family and friends supporting me, so I would love to finally win my home race.”
The team is particularly determined to succeed at Silverstone, as a technical infringement caused by accident damage meant it was the only race last season that didn’t result in a win. Therefore, to start this fourth and final year of competition, the TS050 Hybrids will compete in their new high-downforce specification – a configuration revealed at the prologue test in Barcelona in July.
Challenging the Toyotas will be non-hybrid LMP1 class rivals from Rebellion and Ginetta, which will benefit from revised regulations that give them weight, fuel and engine performance advantages.
The action starts on Friday 30 August with two 90-minute practice sessions, followed by qualifying at lunchtime on Saturday 31 August. The race gets underway at midday on Sunday 1 September, with live streaming available through the FIA’s official broadcasting service and via its YouTube channel.
2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship schedule
|1||4 Hours of Silverstone||Silverstone, United Kingdom||1 Sept|
|2||6 Hours of Fuji||Oyama, Japan||6 Oct|
|3||4 Hours of Shanghai||Shanghai, China||10 Nov|
|4||8 Hours of Bahrain||Sakhir, Bahrain||14 Dec|
|5||6 Hours of São Paulo||São Paulo, Brazil||1 Feb|
|6||1,000 Miles of Sebring||Florida, United States||20 Mar|
|7||6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps||Spa, Belgium||25 Apr|
|8||24 Hours of Le Mans||Le Mans, France||13-14 June|
What will be Toyota’s new WEC car?
Toyota has confirmed that it will support the top-level of the FIA World Endurance Championship beyond 2020 with an all-new hybrid-powered machine based on the GR Super Sport road car. An early design proposal can be seen below, while specific details of both road and race car will be issued by Toyota Gazoo Racing in due course.