For the first time in his sports car career, Anthony Davidson is the driver to beat. He might have dominated in 2014, but 2015 is a new year, with new rivals and new challenges. Can Anthony and his Toyota Racing teammates hold onto their grasp of the title?
Anthony is confident, but still hungry for more. ‘Having the number on the car is really great and we want to defend that. It was a great feeling to win the championship last year but there was one big race missing and that was Le Mans,’ he explains. ‘From the team’s point of view as well as from me personally, the goal is to win the big one in June.’
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But Anthony is far from giving up on the World Endurance Championship fight and focusing on just one race. Instead, he wants 2015 to be even better than 2014. That would mean winning both the WEC and Le Mans.
‘We know the competition is going to be strong so I hope we will have a little more luck than we had last year; you always need some luck. The regulations are in their second year so the updated car has been a natural progression in most areas. The initial feeling is positive and now the important thing to do is keep improving and leave nothing to chance.’
Anthony will lead the drivers’ charge with teammate and fellow world champion, Sébastien Buemi, as well as Kazuki Nakajima. All three drivers have enjoyed stints in F1, making them arguably the strongest line-up on this year’s grid.
‘We want to win as many races as possible but my main focus for this year is definitely to win Le Mans, which also helps a lot to win the World Championship because of the double points,’ says Sébastien.
Kazuki is new to the championship winning team car, and is unsurprisingly incredibly excited about the opportunity. ‘It’s great to be racing in WEC for the complete season for the first time; I missed the team spirit and the competition when I’ve been watching some races on TV these last few years. So I can’t wait to get started at Silverstone.’
Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway will join them in the Toyota Racing outfit, racing in the number two car. Ex-F1 racer Kamui Kobayashi is Toyota’s official test and reserve driver.
Their car, the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, features an ‘evolved’ design, ensuring the team should comfortably build on their strong 2014 pace. Main rivals come in the form of Nissan and its front-wheel drive GT-R LM, Audi and its latest R18 e-tron quattro, and Porsche and its proven 919 Hybrid. All will be running Michelin rubber, so the race is well and truly down to car and driver.
Who’s your money on to take the 2015 WEC crown? And who will triumph at Le Mans?