Toyota Racing Ready For Le Mans 24 Hours
information supplied by: Toyota South Africa - DJ
13 June 2012
Toyota Racing Ready For Le Mans 24 Hours
- Toyota Racing to make motorsport history with two hybrid-powered race cars entered for the LeMans 24 Hours
- TS030 HYBRID cars competing in the elite LMP1 class, using new powertrain developed specifically for motorsport
- Hugely experienced international driver line-up
- Yamaha Motor Europe supporting a cleaner approach to racing as official supplier of 16 electric paddock scooters for team use
Toyota Racing will write a new chapter in the history of hybrid motorsport next week when it takes part in the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours (13 – 17 June).
The team is fielding two TS030 HYBRID cars in the elite LMP1 class, equipped with Toyota’s newTHS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain, developed specifically for motorsport.
The race will mark the culmination of an intense period of preparation, during which the newtechnology has been tested and refined ready to take on one of motorsport’s greatest challenges.
A key decision has been to fit a Denso rear hybrid motor within the gearbox casing. The car alsomakes good use of regenerative braking, with energy recovered and stored in super capacitors,located in the cockpit. This can then be used to provide extra boost on the exit from corners (upto 500Kj between braking zones, as dictated by competition rules).
The hybrid powertrain has been produced by the Toyota’s motorsport division at Higashifuji inJapan, and the TS030 HYBRID chassis has been developed and manufactured by ToyotaMotorsport (TMG) in Cologne, Germany.TMGis the team’s home base and also provides theon-track personnel.
Since it first turned a wheel on 13 January, the TS030 HYBRID has completed 18 test days, mostof them at Paul Ricard in France, but also at MotorLand Aragon (Spain), Magny-Cours (France)and Le Mans itself.
Despite the challenges of optimising such new technology, and the loss of one chassis in a testingaccident, progress has been rapid and Toyota Racing heads for Le Mans with the aim ofcontinuing its development programme while at the same time proving the performance potentialof the THS-R system.
The environmental dimension of Toyota Racing’s participation at Le Mans will be furthersupported by Yamaha Motor Europe, which will be providing 16 EC-03 electric scooters for teamuse in the race paddock. This partnership sees Yamaha become an official supplier to ToyotaRacing.
A talented driver line-up mixes proven Le Mans experience, natural speed, consistency andstrong team spirit.The number 7 car features two-time winner Alex Wurz (Austria), former Sebring 12 Hours winnerNicolas Lapierre (France) and ex-Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima (Japan).
In the number 8 car, three-time Le Mans pole position winner StéphaneSarrazin (France) joinsmultiple endurance winner Anthony Davidson (Great Britain) and Formula 1 young gun SébastienBuemi (Switzerland).
Davidson acknowledges the scale of the challenge but is fired up to do well: “To succeed here youneed to be on top form, it's as simple as that. The test day gave us plenty of encouragement andwe have to continue in this direction in order to be well prepared for the race. I am a positive andrealistic guy; I hope we will have the car to fight at the front but I also know that 2012 is our firstyear so we have many things to learn.”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President, said: “This is a learning year for Toyota Racing butnevertheless we set ourselves high standards, so we want to prove the performance potential ofthe hybrid system and the TS030 HYBRID.
“We know it is not easy to face such experienced opponents and we face a steep learning curve,but the ultimate medium-term target for this project is to win Le Mans so we aim to take a bigstep in this direction in 2012.”
Action begins on Wednesday 13 June with practice (4 to 8pm local time) and first qualifying(10pm to midnight) followed on the following day by second qualifying (7 to 9pm) and finalqualifying (10pm to midnight). Following a Saturday morning warm-up (9 to 9.45am) the racebegins at 3pm.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation and thehybrid power pioneer responsible for the Toyota Prius, has the honour of the ceremonialflag-waving to get the race under way.
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