Since the departure of Alexander Wurz from Toyota Gazoo Racing and from motorsport itself, the huge doubt of who would be the guy to replace in the new Toyota TS050 LMP1 car was raised with strong speculation towards the name of Kamui Kobayashi. The speculation in fact turned into reality, as the Japanese driver was brought to the team to contest the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.
The announcement came along with a string of presentations of the other Toyota programs outside the FIA WEC, that will be under the Toyota Gazoo Racing name, which is well known from the VLN competition in Germany. WRC, VLN, Super GT, Super Formula, Super Taikyuu, GT86 Cup, Vitz Cup, practically everything linking Toyota and racing was there.
Kobayashi will partner up with Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, while the other lineup remains unchanged, with Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, with numbers of the two cars to be revealed later on. He gets back to FIA WEC after his stint with AF Corse in the LMGTE-Pro class in 2013, scoring four podiums in eight races, mainly alongside Toni Vilander.
His 2015 season was spent on open wheel machinery, as he drove for Team LeMans in Super Formula, achieving three podiums, and it was last year when Kobayashi had his first contacts with the Toyota LMP1 cars, as he did some testing in the TS040 model.
The launch of TS050 model, as well the presentation of the test driver of the LMP1 team will be made on March 24th at Paul Ricard, and although we still don't know the car, we know how it will look like, as the TS040 was presented with the colors that Toyota Gazoo Racing will use this year, ditching the blue from the livery and staying with white, red and black.
PHOTO: Toyota Gazoo Racing