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Toyota “trying over its shoulder” in WEC title combat

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The New Zealander believes he and team-mates Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa will face a powerful problem from Le Mans 24 Hours winners Ferrari for the title beginning on the Monza 6 Hours this weekend, although their factors lead is the equal to a victory in an everyday six-hour WEC spherical.

“We glance robust within the championship as a result of we’re 25 factors forward, however we’re positively trying over our shoulder, and never simply on the guys in crimson,” Hartley informed Autosport.

“The #51 Ferrari [driven by Antonio Giovinazzi, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado] is closest to make use of on factors and they are going to be throwing all the things at it.

“However I’m not counting out Cadillac or Porsche, and if there’s some tough climate, Peugeot as properly.

“We’re main the factors, however we’ve positively received a giant combat on our palms – it’s gloves off.”

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Hartley pressured the significance of ending every of the three remaining races — at Monza, then Fuji in September and November’s Bahrain curtain nearer — aboard their Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar, as a result of “one DNF can change the entire recreation”.

Toyota, which additionally leads the producers’ factors from Ferrari, is starting the post-Le Mans leg of the WEC “with quiet confidence”, in line with Hartley.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Picture by: Nikolaz Godet

However he’s predicting that Ferrari 499P will probably be robust on residence floor at Monza.

“I totally anticipate it to be a troublesome race in Monza; Ferrari confirmed the most effective straightline pace at Le Mans and going to the Temple of Pace that will probably be good for them.

“Our job is to place all the things collectively, maximise our potential and attempt to win a world championship.

“Le Mans is behind us and we’re already subsequent 12 months, however the world championship is necessary as properly.

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“It’s straightforward to overlook that generally as a result of Le Mans is such a giant race and all of us care about it a lot, however not everybody will get to name themselves a world champion.”

Observe for the Monza 6 Hours, spherical 5 of the 2023 WEC, begins on Friday, 7 July, at 11:30 native time.

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