Toyota Gazoo Racing has confirmed that it will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship rounds at Spa Francorchamps and Le Mans with three TS050 LMP1s, with two cars confirmed for the full season.
In terms of drivers, the third car will be driven by Toyota LMP1 stalwart Stephane Sarrazin, with two yet-to-be-confirmed teammates.
The full time seat which Sarrazin previously held meanwhile will be taken by José María López who will compete alongside WEC race winners Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. Lopez competed in GP2 before moving to the World Touring Car Championship where he won the last three titles.
The 2014 drivers’ World Champions Sébastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson will again team up in the team’s second car with Kazuki Nakajima.
“It’s great to be part of Toyota Gazoo Racing,” commented Lopez. “This is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get to the first race. Mike and Kamui are both great team-mates; I will learn plenty from them I am sure. Driving an LMP1 car is very different compared to WTCC cars but I am enjoying this challenge.
“The power and grip of the TS050 HYBRID is incredible and TOYOTA’s hybrid technology is impressive. I am looking forward to my first experience of WEC and particularly Le Mans which is a very special race.”
Toshio Sato, team president added: “I believe this is an exciting time for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in endurance racing. Entering three cars for Spa and Le Mans represents a new challenge for our team.
“We are working hard to be prepared and we are inspired to win. I would like to welcome José María to our team; I am confident he will fit in well as he is quick, intelligent and a strong team player. Our existing drivers have already proven their abilities in endurance racing; all are race winners and we are very happy to work together again.”
Toyota will present its 2017 WEC team, including its updated TS050 HYBRID, on 31 March at Monza, prior to the two-day official test for all WEC participants at the Italian circuit.