This year, Toyota fields three of its LMP1 prototypes in the 85th running of the French endurance classic, and arrives at La Sarthe having won both rounds of the 2017 World Endurance Championship – at Silverstone and Spa – with Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima. It was this trio that was robbed of victory at Le Mans last year, so I doubt you’d find many who’d begrudge them a maiden victory this time round. The team certainly acknowledges that it’s favourite for honours in this weekend’s race.
The sister car took a valiant runner-up spot in 2016, thanks to Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin, but it marked the fifth time Toyota has fallen short in its quest to tame sportscar racing’s biggest challenge. These, then, are the occasions that helped Toyota to be part of an unpopular statistic that with any luck it will expunge in 2017.