Kazuki Nakajima will return to the wheel of the No. 1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota Gazoo Racing confirmed Wednesday.
The Japanese driver, who sustained a fractured vertebra in an accident at Spa-Francorchamps last month, completed a successful comeback to the wheel of the LMP1 contender during last weekend’s Le Mans Test Day, setting Toyota’s quickest time of the day and confirming his fitness.
“I have already won my first race this season; recovering my fitness in time for Le Mans,” Nakajima said. “I want to say a huge thanks to the doctors in Verviers and Nice, plus the team physios who have performed miracles to get me ready for Le Mans. Without their hard work, I could not have done it.”
Nakajima, who claimed overall pole in last year’s race, will share the wheel of the No. 1 Toyota with defending FIA World Endurance Champions Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi.
“Last year I got the pole position which was a special moment but not my main goal, which is of course to win,” Nakajima said. “We unfortunately didn’t achieve that so of course it is my dream for this year, even if we know it will be difficult.
“Everyone is really motivated and positive; we know from last year that there are no certainties at Le Mans so we hope to cause a surprise.”