Endurance racing legend Nakajima announces FIA WEC retirement


FIA World Endurance Championship legend Kazuki Nakajima has confirmed he will leave his seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing after this week’s Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain, the final round of WEC Season 9.

Kazuki Nakajima, #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 – Hybrid Hypercar, 24 Hours of Le Mans , Group Photo, Circuit des 24 Heures, Le Mans, Pays da Loire, France

Nakajima, 36, is one of Japan’s most decorated racing drivers who earned his place in the FIA Hall of Fame by taking the 2018-2019 World Championship title alongside Sébastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso. He has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on three occasions (2018, 2019 and 2020).

In a press release issued by Toyota Gazoo Racing this morning, the Japanese team thanked Nakajima for “his immense contribution over the past 10 years, not only as a top driver, but as a trusted team-mate and loyal friend.”

On behalf of the entire FIA WEC family, FIAWEC.com also wants to thank Nakajima for his outstanding achievements on the world endurance stage and for everything that he has done to contribute in making the WEC the successful championship that it is today.

Nakajima has been part of Toyota’s WEC team since the very first test of the TS030 Hybrid in January 2012. His many accolades include 16 wins from 58 WEC races, with only Buemi having more victories and starts for Toyota.

“It has been an honour to compete for Toyota Gazoo Racing for nine seasons and I feel so lucky to have won races, championships and Le Mans 24 Hours alongside so many talented, passionate and dedicated colleagues,” explained Nakajima.

The 36-year-old added: “I want to express my greatest thanks to Toyota Gazoo Racing for this 10-year journey in WEC. I have so many memories with this team, who have been a family to me in tough times as well as in happy times, and I will always feel like a Toyota Gazoo Racing team member. A new era is coming for endurance racing, with many Hypercar manufacturers joining in the next years, and it will be a new era for me. I will continue to support the team and I look forward to watching the start of a new, exciting time for endurance racing.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing will reveal its 2022 driver line-up in the coming weeks.