Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 25 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 25 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Glenn Freeman Editor
Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Toyota's third Le Mans 24 Hours car for 2017 a major financial risk

Toyota, Le Mans

Toyota has described its decision to run three cars at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours as a major financial risk.

The expansion of the Japanese manufacturer's assault on Le Mans and the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in May has been undertaken with a budget that Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon described as "very optimistic".

"If we have a couple of accidents, for example, we will be in financial trouble and we would have to make a drastic saving at some point," Vasselon told Autosport.

Vasselon revealed that there had been no increase in budget for 2017 and that the extra Le Mans entry had been facilitated by savings elsewhere in the programme.

"We have had to manage within our budget frame - we did not get more budget," he explained.

"We have reduced some development items without hurting our performance target achievement and, at the same time, taking some financial risks."

Toyota, Le Mans 2015

Vasselon said that Toyota's experiences at Le Mans in 2014 and '16 had pushed it towards running a third car for the first time since its return to frontline sportscar racing on the rebirth of the WEC in '12.

"If you look at the past three years, two times we were in a position to win Le Mans and two times we have had exactly the same scenario with one car having an accident and the second one having a one-off reliability issue," he explained.

"The same scenario twice in three years pushes you strongly towards having the third car."

The decision on the extra Le Mans car also follows a period of stability in Toyota's programme after it introduced an all-new V6 turbo engine and replaced its supercapacitor energy-storage system with a battery in 2016.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed