Dakar Rally News: Mike Conway Secures Podium Finish for Toyota at WEC Season Opener

    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – (March 18, 2023) – In a thrilling WEC season opener, Toyota’s Mike Conway showcased his racing prowess by securing a podium finish for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.

    Starting from sixth on the grid, Conway made a daring move at the restart following an early safety car, overtaking the Porsche of Fred Makowiecki’s PPM team. He then gained two more positions during the first round of pit stops, benefitting from a slow stop for the early leader, Nicklas Nielsen’s factory #50 Ferrari.

    “It was a tough race with the changing conditions, but the team made the right calls at the right time, and we were able to maximize our result,” said Conway. “I’m proud of the effort from the entire Toyota squad, and we’ll look to build on this strong start to the season.”

    Running in third, Conway tracked the leading Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor before handing the car over to Nyck de Vries, who quickly leapfrogged the Porsche of Andre Lotterer. By the halfway point, Nielsen had regained second place behind his Ferrari teammate Antonio Giovinazzi’s #51 car.

    As conditions became increasingly treacherous due to worsening rain, the Toyota team’s decision to switch to wet tires proved crucial, with Kamui Kobayashi and Kevin Estre gaining significant time on the slick-shod Ferraris. However, the time lost by the Ferraris earlier could not be recovered, and they had to settle for a lower position on the podium.

    Kobayashi maintained his lead over Estre, despite a few harrowing moments, to secure the victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Conway, de Vries, and the Toyota GR010 Hybrid crossed the line in second place, securing valuable championship points for the team.

    The WEC calendar continues with the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 17, where Toyota will aim to extend its lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Stay tuned for more thrilling Dakar Rally news and updates.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source