Toyota's Le Mans 24 Hours performance proved that it has the pace to fight with Audi in the World Endurance Championship, according to its racing team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita.
The Japanese manufacturer entered a pair of TS030 Hybrids in the French classic last weekend, and although accidents prevented either car from finishing, Nicolas Lapierre did manage to lead the event during the opening hours. Kinoshita said that after being uncertain pre-weekend whether his team could pose a threat to the Audi hybrids and diesels, the pace shown has answered some key questions.
"We did not know if we could fight with Audi, so we enjoyed the battle while it lasted," he said. "It was our dream to lead the race and to do so, even for a short time, was fantastic. Of course it was difficult to enjoy the race after the accident of Anthony [Davidson], and then we faced some problems on the No. 7 and had to retire.
"It's normal that we had to deal with some technical issues in the race because our car is very young and we've had not enough testing, but we leave Le Mans with several key areas in which to improve."
After the two-car effort at Le Mans, Toyota plans to run just a single car in the remaining five FIA World Endurance Championship events, starting at Silverstone in August.