Can Toyota get one over Audi?
They're the big-hitters in the world's toughest race, but who'll have the edge over 24 hours? Gary Watkins attempts an answer
Toyota was never the favourite for this, the 90th anniversary running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Yet the Japanese manufacturer's form over the second half of last year's World Endurance Championship suggested it would be more than capable of taking the fight to Audi in 2013. The results of the first two rounds of this season's world series and the Le Mans test day appear to suggest otherwise. At least in the collective mind of the Toyota Motorsport GmbH squad.
The upbeat mood in the Toyota camp on the launch of the second iteration of the TS030 HYBRID in February has changed. The smiles disappeared after the Silverstone WEC opener in April and turned to frowns post-Spa in May. Toyota's petrol-powered LMP1 coupes were beaten hands down by the new version of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in both events and again lagged behind all three of the German cars at the test day earlier this month.
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