Kamui Kobayashi expressed his sheer satisfaction at bringing the winning #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing car to the chequered flag, ending a three-year streak of narrowly missing out the win at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This year’s victory at Le Mans marked the fourth consecutive win at Le Mans for Toyota, with the #7 car finally claiming a victory after a hat-trick of #8 victories. The #7 car driven by Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kobayashi took the win ahead of the #8 Toyota sister car and the #36 Alpine, in the year of the Hypercar era.
“I think we are more together as a team [than before], we can’t do anything special at Le Mans, but we believe in each other as a team,” Kobayashi told Eurosport.
“We had so many chances to win, and we lost, but finally we won.
“In the future the Hypercar and LMDh category will be big, and Le Mans will be a huge race.”
With two rounds left, the #7 trio claimed first place in the standings, with Lopez expressed his relief in the victory, due to all the hectic moments during the 24 hours race.
Despite the comfortable lead, the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid began suffering similar fuel pickup issues to that of the #8 sister car, which Lopez admitted was stressful.
“We’ve come from far away from here. Tough times, I haven’t seen my father for a long time, a lot of work,” Lopez admitted.
“At the end when we had this fuel problem, we had to do a lot of things in the car. It was very stressful.”
To conclude, an emotional Conway expressed his happiness with the team, and was visibly moved by the outstanding result achieved today at the legendary circuit.
Conway was also denied victory in 2017 with Kobayashi, due to a burnt-out clutch from pitlane miscommunication, making today’s feat much sweeter to the Brit.
“Full circuit, a lot of emotions. I was crying like a little girl,” Conway added.
“We came close so many times, and to get it done here with the new hypercar as well with these boys… teammates did a stellar job as always.”