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Toyota Unveils 2012 Le Mans Racer - Web Exclusive

A new carbon fibre LMP1 chassis has been developed and produced at TMG, where the complete car was assembled in preparation for a roll-out.

Greg Emmerson
Jan 24, 2012
Eurp 1201 01+toyota 2012 le mans racer+cover Photo 2/7   |   Toyota Unveils 2012 Le Mans Racer - Web Exclusive

Toyota has announced more details of its World Endurance Championship participation, including the TS030 Hybrid, which is the company’s successor to the TS010 and TS020 cars that raced at Le Mans with podium success during the 1990s.

Eurp 1201 01+toyota 2012 le mans racer+cover Photo 2/7   |   Toyota Unveils 2012 Le Mans Racer - Web Exclusive

The new team is based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Germany and will make its debut on 5 May in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Toyota Racing intends to enter two TS030 Hybrid cars in the subsequent Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June). However, its participation in further rounds is yet to be confirmed.

Drivers confirmed for one car will be Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, while discussions are ongoing to finalize the line-up for the second machine.

Eurp 1201 02+toyota 2012 le mans racer+front view Photo 3/7   |   Toyota Unveils 2012 Le Mans Racer - Web Exclusive

Toyota is the first manufacturer to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship with a hybrid system, emphasising the technology which has seen more than 3.5 million Toyota hybrids sold worldwide.

The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain is designed to deliver maximum performance and features an all-new normally-aspirated 3.4-litre V8 gasoline engine with a hybrid system using capacitor storage developed by official partner Nisshinbo.

The team will use the TS030 Hybrid’s first test to evaluate the meritsof a front motor system produced by Aisin AW, and a rear motor system developed by Denso. The regulations limit hybrid systems to recovering a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones, while restricting deployment to only two wheels.

Eurp 1201 03+toyota 2012 le mans racer+full view Photo 4/7   |   Toyota Unveils 2012 Le Mans Racer - Web Exclusive

A new carbon fibre LMP1 chassis has been developed and produced at TMG, where the complete car was assembled in preparation for a roll-out on 11-13 January at Paul Ricard.

During an test session, which included running in darkness, the TS030 Hybrid completed several hundred kilometers.

By Greg Emmerson
1078 Articles

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