Mike Conway is a British racing driver who currently competes with Toyota in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He finished as a vice-champion in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC season. At 24 Hours of Le Mans, Conway was a runner-up three times, in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Earlier in his career, Mike was competing in different open-wheel championships, including six seasons in the IndyCar Series, in which he won four times. In 2006, he was British Formula 3 champion.
Mike started racing at the age of eight
Mike Conway was born on August 19, 1983, in London's suburb Bromley. He attended the school in Sevenoaks, Kent, and now he is living there. He made his first racing steps when he was 8, driving go-karts at Rye House Circuit. He was in the karting until the age of 17, taking few championship titles.
Mike's first competition with bigger cars was Formula Ford in 2001. In 2002, he progressed to the fourth place in the championship, then switching to the 2003 Formula Renault UK championship with Fortec Motorsports. His main rival was Lewis Hamilton, who became the FR UK champion.
2004 Formula Renault UK - the first championship title in a career
In 2004, Mike Conway clinched his first championship title in a career, dominating in the Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship. He won eight out of 18 races. The next step was the Formula 3, still with the Fortec Motorsports.
Conway was the 2006 British Formula 3 champion
For 2006 season, Mike joined the Räikkönen Robertson Racing. With eight wins in 22 races, he became the British Formula 3 champion, ahead of Oliver Jarvis and Bruno Senna. He was also the winner of the annual non-championship Macau Grand Prix.
In June 2006, he made a debut in the GP2 Series at Silverstone, replacing the injured Olivier Pla in the DPR Direxiv car. Mike finished 11th in both races. The highlight of the successful season was the McLaren Autosport's National Racing Driver of the Year Award.
Driving in the GP2 and testing Honda's F1 car
In 2007, Mike progressed to the GP2 Series, signed for Super Nova team. He scored one podium at Silverstone and finished 14th in the points after 21 races. The GP2 Series was supposed to be the last step on the way to Formula One. Mike signed as a test driver for Honda F1 Team, but that was as far as he managed to get in his F1 efforts.
In 2008, in his second GP2 Series season, he was driving for Trident Racing and scored his first GP2 victory, winning the sprint race at Monaco. In the championship points, he finished 12th. Mike also had a successful one-off appearance in the International GT Open, driving the Dodge Viper for Scuderia la Tore in Valencia. His co-driver was Ho-Pin Tung and they won one race, finishing fourth in the second race.
Successful test brought him a place in the IndyCar team
In Formula One, Mike was still the test driver for Honda. During 2008, he had an opportunity to test an IndyCar Series car at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. He showed a good performance, so Dreyer & Reinbold Racing signed him for the full 2009 season in #24 car.
In his rookie season, Mike scored one podium, finishing third at the road course in Sonoma. On the ovals, his best result was 8th place at Iowa Speedway. In his first Indianapolis 500, Mike was 18th. Conway finished 17th in the points at the end of the season and third among rookies.
Season 2010 stopped by Indianapolis 500 crash
He renewed the contract with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for 2010 season, which was shortened after his violent crash on the final lap of the Indianapolis 500 race. Mike had a contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay's car and went airborne.
Conway suffered a broken leg but also a compression fracture of one of his thoracic vertebrae. After just six events, the season was over. In those six races, Mike scored three Top 10 finishes.
Maiden IndyCar victory with Andretti
In 2011, Mike Conway moved to the Andretti Autosport's #27 car. In the third round of the season, at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Mike scored his first IndyCar victory, holding of the second-placed Ryan Briscoe for six seconds.
In the next race, at Sao Paulo Indy 300, Mike finished sixth. After that, he failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and the rest of the season was disappointing. Conway finished 17th in the points.
One more accident at Indianapolis 500
The new change of the team followed in 2012 when Mike joined AJ Foyt's squad to drive the #14 Honda. His best result was third place at Honda Indy Toronto race. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he again had an accident during the Indianapolis 500. During a scheduled green flag pit stop he made contact with one of his crew members, damaging his front wing but not injuring the crew member. A few laps later Conway lost control of his car, making contact with Will Power. Power hit a wall while Conway flew airborne into the fence.
Before the last round of the 2012 season, held at the Fontana superspeedway, Conway asked not to drive because he felt uncomfortable on oval tracks, so he was replaced by Wade Cunningham.
In October 2012, Conway traveled to Australia to compete in the Gold Coast 600, the V8 Supercars endurance race at Surfers Paradise street circuit. He partnered Taz Douglas in the #30 Holden of Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport. They finished 14th in the first race and 16th in the second race.
2013 - Conway entered World Endurance Championship
In 2013, Conway had a parallel program of races in the IndyCar Series and FIA World Endurance Championship. In America, he participated only at road courses, driving for Rahal Letterman Racing at Long Beach and for Dale Coyne Racing in the double-header events at Detroit-Belle Isle, Toronto and Houston. He was very successful at Belle Isle Grand Prix, winning the first race and finishing third in the second race.
In the FIA WEC, he was also victorious, driving the Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 prototype for G-Drive Racing, alongside Roman Rusinov and John Martin. They scored four LMP2 class wins (Sao Paulo, Circuit of the Americas, Shanghai and Bahrain) and finished third in the championship standings.
At 2012 24 hours of Le Mans, their #26 car was excluded from the third-place finish due to an oversized fuel tank. In July, Mike also had a one-off appearance in the American Le Mans Series, partnering Scott Tucker in the Level 5 Motorsports' prototype at Mosport, finishing fourth overall.
Two more IndyCar wins at road courses
In 2014, Conway signed for Ed Carpenter Racing to drive full IndyCar season, but only at road courses. Mike participated in twelve races, winning two times, at Long Beach and Toronto. He increased the number of IndyCar wins to four.
In the 2014 FIA WEC season, Mike joined Toyota as a test and reserve driver of their LMP1 prototype TS040 Hybrid. He debuted in the fourth round at the Circuit of the America, finishing sixth. Mike's first and so far only WEC victory followed in November at Bahrain International Circuit. His co-drivers were Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin.
Toyota's full-time driver in 2015 season
In the 2015 FIA WEC season, Conway was Toyota's full-time driver in the #2 TS040, together with Wurz and Sarrazin. In eight championship races, their best result was third place in the season-closing round in Bahrain. At 2015 Le Mans race, the #2 Toyota finished sixth overall.
Replacing Villeneuve in the Formula E Championship
In February 2016, Mike joined Venturi Grand Prix team in its second Formula E season, as a replacement for Jacques Villeneuve and to be a partner to his Toyota teammate Stephane Sarrazin. Mike debuted in the fourth championship round, at the Buenos Aires ePrix, finishing 15th. Conway was driving for Venturi until the end of the season, scoring points three times, finishing 16th in the final standings.
Maiden Le Mans podium for Mike
At the same time, Mike is continuing his FIA WEC campaign with Toyota, driving the #6 TS050 Hybrid together with Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi. In June, Mike scored his first Le Mans podium, finishing second in the race. Until the end of the season, Conway scored three more podiums and a victory at Fuji 6 Hours, finishing third in the FIA WEC drivers' standings.
In 2017, he continued to collect FIA WEC podiums with Toyota, sharing the #7 TS050 with Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez. In the Formula E Championship, he left Venturi and returned to a cockpit of the electric race car in one-off apperance at Paris ePrix in May 2017, where he was driving for Faraday Future Dragon Racing.
Runner-up at Le Mans two more times
After being an endurance co-driver to Action Express Racing in the 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship, Conway extended a deal to the 2018 IMSA Championship season. He finished on a podium both at Daytona 24 Hours (2nd) and Sebring 12 Hours (3rd).
In the FIA World Endurance Championship, he stayed with Toyota Gazoo Racing for the 2018-2019 super season which included two races at Le Mans. He finished second in both attempts at Le Mans, sharing the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid with Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez. They were close to victory in 2019, leading until the last hour of the race, but a puncture forced them to give a victory to teammates in the #8 car. During the season, Conway and his co-drivers were winners at Fuji and Shanghai, finishing second in the championship.