Koji Sato comment for the 6 Hours of Fuji
Together with our Japanese fans and partners who support our challenge in WEC, at the 6 Hours of Fuji, the sixth round of the season, the #7 car won from pole position and the #8 car completed a one-two victory. To make the victory even more special, we also secured the manufacturers’ World Championship. Thank you to everyone who supported us to achieve this.
Today, many fans were watching the race and waving TGR flags. I myself was watching the race from the pit, and it was very reassuring to see the enthusiastic support and smiling faces of everyone in the grandstand directly in front of me, even though the race was so tough. I think it was a great source of encouragement for the team to take on the challenges of this race, so I really appreciate all our fans here.
What I realized at this race was the team strength that has been built under Team Principal Kamui. Because they are able to communicate on a daily basis, they can think for themselves and act independently for the benefit of the team. The combination of such actions by each individual gave us the strength to win the close battle in the end.
The turning point this year for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC team was the disappointment at Le Mans, and Chairman Toyoda's words: “I want my team to play sports.” Chairman Toyoda's thoughts were embedded in this team and ignited their spirit. At our home race, I think we were able to demonstrate the true strength of one team that we have been striving for since then.
This weekend, not only were the WEC team competing but also the All Japan Rally Team competed in their own championship in Hokkaido with Morizo, and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT drove in Greece in the World Rally Championship. Although the fields of competition are different, what we all have in common is our desire to bring more smiles to people's faces through motorsport. I want to convey the appeal of cars using all five senses. We want to improve our cars through motorsport and make our customers happy. With this idea as our starting point, we will continue to take on the challenge of creating more smiles through WEC.
We will continue to fight with all our might as one team in the next round in Bahrain, the final race of the season.
Ritomo Miyata, who had the last-minute chance to join the race with Kessel Racing, showed a great performance on the world stage in his first WEC appearance. Congratulations on getting third place and a podium! Thank you to everyone at Kessel Racing for giving Ritomo this valuable opportunity to take on the challenge, and to Mr. Takeshi Kimura for reaching out to us with this opportunity.
President, Toyota Motor Corporation
Chairman of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe
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