JOSÉ MARÍA LÓPEZ TO MISS SPA EVENT
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing regrets to announce that José María López will not compete in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
José María suffered minor damage to two vertebrae during an accident at Silverstone on 16 April. Both team and driver hoped that a period of rest would complete the natural healing process before this week’s event.
However, after consultation with FIA Medical Delegate Dr Jacques Tropenat and the team’s own doctor, it has been decided José María should not compete at Spa in order to ensure he returns fully fit at Le Mans.
José María will return to the TS050 HYBRID cockpit for a test session towards the end of the month prior to participating in the official Le Mans test on 4 June.
Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi will therefore be the only drivers in the #7 TS050 HYBRID this weekend.
José María López: “I’m extremely disappointed to miss this weekend’s race as I was really looking forward to driving the TS050 HYBRID at Spa. I feel basically fine but we all agree that we should take no chances; the priority is to be absolutely fit for Le Mans. Probably I could race if we were at a different track but a driver’s body experiences extreme forces through Eau Rouge so, after discussions with the FIA Medical Delegate and our team doctor, we decided I should not drive this weekend.”
About TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in 18 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on five occasions. TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, combining the expertise from TOYOTA Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, where the hybrid powertrain is developed, with TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s support and facilities for chassis development. The multi-national team is based in Cologne, Germany and includes engineers from TOYOTA’s motorsport and hybrid department, who deliver technology and know-how back into road car development. Since 2012, TOYOTA has earned 10 pole positions and won 11 races, finishing on the podium a total of 31 times. In 2014, the team won the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships with the TS040 HYBRID while a year later TOYOTA celebrated 30 years since its first Le Mans entry. TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH combines its role in the WEC project with its other activities, such as the supply of a World Rally Championship engine for TOYOTA’s return to the category in 2017, as well as its engineering services business and customer motorsport activities.