Alex Wurz says Toyota cannot be overconfident about its chances for the upcoming World Endurance Championship season despite a promising return to sports cars racing in 2012.
The Japanese company joined Audi as the only other manufacturer to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC last year, defeating the German car maker in only its third outing in Brazil.
On Tuesday, Toyota unveiled the revised TS030 Hybrid with which it will compete this year, a car which Wurz expects to be extremely competitive. The Austrian, however, has warned that it will be a huge task to beat Audi.
"My first season with Toyota was fantastic; we exceeded our expectations for our debut year in WEC," said Wurz. "But that was only the first step and we must now improve everything to become a clear number one in endurance racing.
"Last season was very encouraging and showed we absolutely have the potential to win Le Mans and the world championship if we get everything right. But we cannot be overconfident; we still face a huge challenge and we need to perform at the highest level to achieve our goals.
"I expect a tough battle with Audi but I expect Toyota to be extremely competitive. We have a chance to achieve something really significant and we are highly motivated to take that chance."
Wurz said the updated car already feels like a step forward compared to last year's machine, but the former GP driver acknowledges Toyota will have to continue pushing hard to be ahead of its rival.
"In the second half of last year we were the fastest car on the grid; we know Audi will not stand still so we need to continue pushing and increasing our performance level," he said. "I'm really looking forward to racing with the updated car. The guys have worked incredibly hard to fine-tune everything and we can feel a definite improvement. So I am expecting this year's car to be even faster and we need to work hard to get the most out of the package."