During the first tests of the TS030 HYBRID, Hiroaki experienced discomfort in his back due to the higher g-forces experienced in an LMP1 car.
After taking medical advice, Hiroaki informed TOYOTA Racing of his decision to withdraw from the team for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and concentrate on regaining full fitness ahead of the 2013 season.
TOYOTA Racing is evaluating a potential replacement and will confirm its decision as soon as the change has been ratified by the ACO.
Hiroaki Ishiura: “This was an extremely difficult decision to take because racing at Le Mans is my dream, but my physical condition has to be the priority.
I did not feel I was in the right condition to race an LMP1 car at Le Mans this year but I will focus on recovering as I really want to drive for TOYOTA Racing next year. For now I will focus my energy entirely on Super GT and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, whilst supporting TOYOTA Racing from a distance.”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “I would like to express my thanks to Hiroaki for his integrity in these difficult circumstances. As a team we reluctantly respect his decision and we are pleased he remains part of the TOYOTA motorsport family through his activities in Super GT and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. His speed, consistency and team mentality impressed us greatly during his short time with TOYOTA Racing so we would be delighted if he can return to the team next year.”