Using a ground-breaking hybrid powertrain, the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing (THS-R), which was developed specifically for motorsport by TOYOTA, the team’s TS030 HYBRID cars will compete in the elite LMP1 class.
This represents the culmination of an intense preparation period for the team, during which this new technology has been tested and refined for one of motorsport’s ultimate challenges; the Le Mans 24 Hours.
During this time, the team has decided to implement a DENSO rear hybrid motor situated within the gearbox casing. Energy is recovered under braking and stored in super capacitors, located in the cockpit, to provide additional boost on corner exit, up to the regulatory maximum of 500kJ between braking zones.
While the hybrid powertrain has been produced by the Motor Sport Division of TOYOTA Motor Corporation at Higashifuji in Japan, the TS030 HYBRID chassis has been developed and manufactured by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany. TMG also provides the team’s home base and on-track personnel.
Since its first drive on 13 January, the TS030 HYBRID has completed 18 testing days predominantly 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, as well as the loss of one monocoque in a testing accident, progress has been rapid and TOYOTA Racing goes to Le Mans aiming to continue this development whilst simultaneously proving the performance potential of its THS-R system.
A talented driver line-up mixes proven Le Mans experience, natural speed, consistency and strong team spirit.
The #7 car features two-time winner Alex Wurz (Austria), former Sebring 12 Hours winner Nicolas Lapierre (France) and ex-Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima (Japan).
In the #8 car, three-time Le Mans pole position winner Stéphane Sarrazin (France) joins multiple endurance winner Anthony Davidson (Great Britain) and Formula 1 young gun Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland).
Action begins on Wednesday 13 June with practice (16.00-20.00 local time) and first qualifying (22.00-00.00) followed on the following day by second qualifying (19.00-21.00) and final qualifying (22.00-00.00). Following a Saturday morning warm-up (09.00-09.45) the race begins at 15.00.
The ceremonial flag-waving to officially start the race will be carried out by Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President of TOYOTA Motor Corporation, hybrid pioneer and the man responsible for the TOYOTA Prius.