Kamui Kobayashi wants Toyota to defend their dominant FIA World Endurance Championship success record at Fuji, with the fact they won on Ferrari’s home ground at Monza fuelling their target for “revenge”.
The Japanese manufacturer have won all but one edition of the 6 Hours of Fuji, over the course of nine visits by the WEC since 2012.
As team principal and driver of the #7 GR010 Hybrid, Kobayashi shared his thoughts after a race victory at the previous round at Monza over home favourites Ferrari AF Corse, as such could happen to Toyota who own Fuji Speedway.
Along with his teammates Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez, they reside second in the standings on 92 points compared to their sister #8 GR010 Hybrid on 115, who obtained 36 points at Le Mans when the #7 received none after they retired.
Kobayashi said: “Everyone in the team is looking forward to our home race and the chance to compete in front of our Japanese fans, as well as our Toyota colleagues and partners who contribute so much.
“After Le Mans, winning at Fuji is our next priority and we have a very strong record there.
“So our target is to extend our run of victories, despite the very close competition amongst the Hypercar.
“It will be a big fight between a lot of manufacturers which is what all the fans want to see.
“We won on Ferrari’s home ground in Monza in the last race, so I am sure they will want to get their revenge this weekend.
“We need to get everything right, avoid any mistakes, and keep pushing to stay in front.
“With only two races to go in the season, this is a critical race for the World Championship so we will be giving everything.”
Ferrari’s #51 499P won the car’s first WEC race at the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans, additionally marking the #50 sibling car’s second claim for pole position.
At Monza, the #7 Toyota took the flag, but were closely followed by the #50 Ferrari 499P, which finished second.
The usual top-10 FIA points allocation are on offer for this six hour event at Fuji, so Toyota will be targeting a strong team finish with a lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings.
Unlike any other edition of the 6 Hours of Fuji, Toyota face more competition than ever due to the influx of Hypercars this year, much higher in manufacturer presence and therefore competition who can threaten Toyota’s Fuji success record.
The only other WEC LMP1 manufacturer who beat Toyota’s win streak was in 2015 when Porsche secured a 1-2 finish.
Toyota’s pursuits to build their championship lead in both standings will take place at Fuji this weekend, from 8-10 September.