Ishiura withdraws from TOYOTA Racing #8 at Le Mans
TOYOTA Racing regrets to announce that Hiroaki Ishiura is unable to take his place in the driver line-up of the #8 TS030 HYBRID at the Le Mans 24 Hours due to a back complaint.
During the first tests of the TS030 HYBRID, Hiroaki experienced discomfort in his back due to the higher g-forces experienced in an LMP1 car.
After taking medical advice, Hiroaki informed TOYOTA Racing of his decision to withdraw from the team for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours and concentrate on regaining full fitness ahead of the 2013 season.
TOYOTA Racing is evaluating a potential replacement and will confirm its decision as soon as the change has been ratified by the ACO.
Hiroaki Ishiura: "This was an extremely difficult decision to take because racing at Le Mans is my dream, but my physical condition has to be the priority. I did not feel I was in the right condition to race an LMP1 car at Le Mans this year but I will focus on recovering as I really want to drive for TOYOTA Racing next year. For now I will focus my energy entirely on Super GT and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, whilst supporting TOYOTA Racing from a distance."
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "I would like to express my thanks to Hiroaki for his integrity in these difficult circumstances. As a team we reluctantly respect his decision and we are pleased he remains part of the TOYOTA motorsport family through his activities in Super GT and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. His speed, consistency and team mentality impressed us greatly during his short time with TOYOTA Racing so we would be delighted if he can return to the team next year."
About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 13 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 36 vehicles taking part. TOYOTA has finished on the podium three times, all second places. Including those results, it has finished in the top six a total of nine times. In qualifying, TOYOTA has four front-row starts to its name, including one pole position. For 2012, TOYOTA will return to endurance racing and the FIA World Endurance Championship as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. The chassis has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 (GT-One) Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family. For more information, please visit www.toyotahybridracing.com and register for personal access to the media section. Follow the team on Twitter (@Toyota_Hybrid) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/toyotamotorsport).