After finishing third and fourth in the Six Hours of Silverstone earlier this month with the 2012-specification TS030 HYBRID, the team will bring one updated car to Belgium.
The #7 car of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima – competing for TOYOTA Racing for the first time in 2013 after missing Silverstone due to Super Formula commitments – will drive the updated car.
Following their podium at Silverstone, the #8 line-up of Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi will again participate with a 2012-specification car.
The updated TS030 HYBRID features modifications to chassis and powertrain, with increased performance, reliability and serviceability the priorities.
A revised aerodynamic package, including an updated monocoque, delivers improved performance whilst minimising the impact of updated regulations in 2013 which increase the minimum weight for manufacturer LMP1 cars by 15kg.
The TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing powertrain again uses a unique super capacitor to deliver 300hp of boost automatically, on top of the 530hp generated by a 3.4litre, normally-aspirated V8 petrol engine.
Ahead of a completely new development for 2014 due to regulation changes, TOYOTA’s Motor Sport Division in Higashifuji has fine-tuned the powertrain to improve power, efficiency, management of component usage and reliability.
TOYOTA’s position as world leader in hybrid vehicle technology was emphasised earlier this month when the company passed the 5million mark for sales of hybrid road cars.
The two-day race weekend at Spa begins on Friday with two practice sessions (09.00-11.00 and 14.30-16.30) before qualifying in the evening (18.50-19.20). Saturday sees a warm-up (09.00-09.20) before the six-hour race itself starts at 14.30.
Media photos of the updated TS030 HYBRID testing last week at Portimao are available here.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Spa is one of two home races for our team, along with Fuji Speedway, as it’s just 120km away from TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG). So it is the perfect place to debut our 2013-specification car which we expect will show a performance improvement. Audi demonstrated in Silverstone that we need to make a step to regain the race-winning form we showed last year and I am confident our updated car will deliver. Nevertheless, our 2012-specification car remains competitive and it will be interesting to see how the race plays out. With many TMG staff members attending this race to cheer on the team, we have extra motivation to succeed so we are aiming to give them a result to celebrate.”