World Endurance ChampionshipIn a fast-moving, high-pressure technical environment, it’s important to take a break. The brain is a muscle, and while working it out will strengthen it, it’s also important to give it a rest and let it recover. Therefore Toyota Motorsport GmbH invited all employees to join our ‘home’ race of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa Francorchamps, on 3 May.

All 250 employees were invited to join – together with their friends and family, which made a perfect team. In addition, as part of our “Feel Part of the Team” hospitality programme, several sponsors and business guests were invited to join. Most of the 600 participants arrived in the morning and used the team hospitality as a starting point to meet and greet their colleagues before the action got under way.

The event allowed all employees to truly relax and have fun, giving everyone the opportunity to feel motorsport up close  with the smell and sound of the cars passing only a few meters away and being able to access the paddock with ease.

The TMG hospitality was located in the former press centre above the old pit garages, on the run down between La Source and Eau Rouge. It was dedicated only to TMG employees and their guests, providing a perfect view on one of the most spectacular sections of track anywhere in motorsport. It was not only a popular point to warm up and take a rest, there was always food and drink to keep everyone’s energy levels high during the six-hour race. Employees enjoyed chatting with one another on a personal and professional level while people from different departments got to know each other better while having fun on the track. Getting out of the office and spending time with the team away from the day-to-day grind was very welcome. “There was a great atmosphere as drivers stopped by to discuss the race and sign autographs,” said Alastair. A highlight for all the guests!

The Hospitality was as usual very welcoming and very pleasant; being so close to drivers as they pass by and to eat and drink in an informal family-type atmosphere was a treat and a surprise for my guest. The gifts were perfect and I was able to tell the story of the day to my children and give them each a small souvenir in return for their enthusiasm of my stories of the day,” said Stan.

Only a few clouds were in the sky throughout the day and there was a fresh breeze, but not enough to disturb the day by any means. For the start of the race most of the employees made use of the open ticket to enter the grandstands around the track. It was expected to be a thrilling fight at the front and expectations were met. Audi, Porsche and TOYOTA battled for the role of the favorites for the win. Most employees stayed till late evening to see the breathtaking finish, which saw the #8 TS040 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi take TOYOTA Racing’s second victory of the season and another double podium finish. That sparked a great party into the night. “The highlight had to be the remaining laps of race because it was the first race in 11 years I had attended where we were on the top place of the podium. It was a special event for many reasons,” said Stan.  Nico agreed: “The event was a complete success. The atmosphere among team members and guests was very relaxed and natural, almost like in a big family. I was very pleased to see so many of my colleagues showing their commitment. Personally I was surprised by the size of the crowd. Interest in the World Endurance Championship seems to be growing fast.”

Now the 2014 TMG Employee Event is but a memory. “We all enjoyed this day, we cannot express it enough. We have been wonderful treated as a guest. I walked the whole track with my excited guest – my mother,” said Tobias. Bernd agreed: “I felt very excited at the idea to spend a day at the circuit. It was a magnificent race experience. And it was not only TMG employees who were impressed: „As in the previous years the company outing was a successful idea all round. We have been served with tasty meals and snacks. We in the purchasing department had some customers as guests at the track. It was amazing for them to see the racing cars now been fitted with the parts finished and manufactured by them. All the nicer then, seeing both cars on the podium at the second race of the season – a huge motivation for the next race in Le Mans,” said Peter.

Whoever knows the fascination of the Spa-Francorchamps race track and the myths surrounding its legendary corners understands why the event was such a big success for the whole TMG staff. The company´s 250 employees agreed that it was a great day! “The employee events are always very well organized and creates a great benefit for us TMG employees,” said Nenad while Stephan added “It was a great feeling to see our TS040 HYBRID finally on the track and dominating the 2014 Spa race. Hopefully our season will continue like this.”

I really enjoyed this day on the track and the TMG staff should be commended on their continued professionalism and upbeat attitudes. Thank you so much for a wonderful first time experience. TMG knows how to make their employees feel nurtured and belong to a community. It is a feeling of belonging to one big family!” said Nina.

We are looking forward to the next get together. We can guarantee you that it will not be our last.