Toyota has been the dominant force in the FIA World Endurance Championship as it was never been seen in any previous season, and the high expectations for the Japanese manufacturer performance at Le Mans may lead into a further appearance of the part-time third entry.
According to an interview to Sportscar365, Toyota Gazoo Racing director Rob Leupen explained that the purpose is on the cards to be done, but in order to convince Toyota Motor Company to put the third entry in action after Le Mans some conditions should be created and met to develop a good offer.
Thanks to the fact that the 2017 TS050 is an evolution of the 2016 rather than a completely new car, the parts budget gave the funding for the third entry for Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the funds for this extra race would come directly from Japan instead of TMG in Germany, which mostly explains why there is the need of a good offer development.
About the driver lineup for the third car at Fuji the preference would be for the current drivers, although José Maria Lopez would be the point in question as he is expected to be back to the No. 7 car after being moved to the No. 9 due to lack of experience with the car, a result of injuries sustained in his crash at Silverstone and a further crash in a test at Spa-Francorchamps, with the other two drivers being likely Nicolas Lapierre and Yuji Kunimoto.
The No. 9 Toyota was third on a Japanese 1-2-3 in the Journée Test at Le Mans this weekend, but to add into the statistics, while Audi was the common user of third entries at Le Mans it was Porsche who achieved glory with the third entry, winning at Le Mans in 2015 in a nearly faultless run.
PHOTO - Toyota Motorsport