The driving force/crew principal made the remarks following Toyota’s newest success at Fuji final month, because it sealed the producers’ title with a spherical to spare due to a 1-2 end with its pair of GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercars on residence soil.
Toyota has continued to be the crew to beat within the WEC’s Hypercar class regardless of the arrival of quite a few new manufacturing facility opponents, having gained each race besides the Le Mans 24 Hours, the place it was narrowly defeated by Ferrari.
Reflecting on the Japanese auto large’s third WEC producers’ crown (its sixth together with the groups’ titles that have been awarded in 2018-21), Kobayashi mentioned the expertise it gained following Porsche’s withdrawal from LMP1 on the finish of 2017 has allowed it to be the dominant power of what’s now a really tightly-controlled class.
“There was a interval the place there was no one however Toyota, however we have been making an enormous effort to place collectively automobiles, to coach drivers and personnel, and now we’re right here,” Kobayashi mentioned.
“To this point this season, now we have gained each race besides Le Mans. Should you take a look at the outcomes solely, it appears to be like like we’re dominant, however in the event you take a look at the performance-adjusted numbers, the hole [to the other manufacturers] shouldn’t be massive.
“I feel what makes the distinction is that every one our drivers are constant, quick and may carry the automotive to the restrict, and that there aren’t any errors on tyre selection or pit technique… all of these items put collectively are mirrored within the outcomes.
“Individuals might ask why we have been doing WEC all these years when there have been no different producers however I feel we’ve confirmed why now.”
Podium: #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez
Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images
Kobayashi mentioned that there shall be no crew orders between the 2 Toyota crews in Bahrain with the producers’ title now sealed, with 39 factors nonetheless up for grabs.
“There’s no want to regulate it,” he mentioned. “For the crew, the producers’ title is extra vital, and now now we have obtained it, we will simply race usually.
“The drivers’ title will rely upon what occurs [at Bahrain], but when nothing uncommon occurs the #8 automotive will in all probability win it.”
Hirakawa added: “It’s clear that whoever is quickest will win, and we don’t know but if will probably be one other one-two… but when it’s a one-two, the #8 crew wins the title.
“Profitable the race is secondary, personally I simply wish to be sure that we defend the drivers’ title.”