autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit www.autosport.com to see our new site.

Derek Bell: Why Toyota is 'brave' to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours

Toyota Le Mans 24 Hours test day 2018

In this week's Motorsport Show, five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Derek Bell says race favourite Toyota is "brave" to return to Le Mans and aim for its first win.

Toyota is the sole hybrid LMP1 competitor in this year's field and has an inherent performance advantage against the independent non-hybrid entries.

While Bell believes "Toyota should win on paper", and is likely to avoid the "wheel-to-wheel" racing it faced against Audi and Porsche in recent years, it will have its own pressure to cope with.

"I don't envy them [Toyota] at all, because they've had two years where they were in a position to win and didn't, and of course now they've put all their eggs in one basket having another go at it and they're brave to do it," Bell told host Peter Windsor.

"I think if they win people aren't going to say 'that was great', they'll say 'about bloody time'."

Bell also discusses how race management and car conservation is key at Le Mans, recalling his first win at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1975.

He waved the sister Gulf Mirage GR8 car of Vern Schuppan past on the opening lap but still won after his team-mate's car suffered an alternator failure.

Technical pundit Craig Scarborough talks about how the much-discussed Equivalence of Technology will affect the top-tier class and how a "slam-dunk" win for Toyota is not guaranteed if it trips up.

Subs
 Earlier WEC story More news Next WEC story 
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed