Toyota Racing unveils TS030 HYBRID 2012 Le Mans Challenger

Article by Anita Panait, on January 25, 2012

Toyota Racing has disclosed more details on its debut in the upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship. Toyota Racing will have its May 5 debut in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team plans to compete in Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16-17, 2012, using two TS030 HYBRID cars.

The Cologne, Germany-based team has yet to confirm if it will compete in further rounds. Toyota Racing has assigned Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima to one car but has yet to finalize the driver line-up for the other. Toyota Racing also has Andrea Caldarelli of Pescara, Italy as its junior driver.

The TS030 HYBRID is the successor to TS010 and TS020 cars that made podium finish at Le Man in the 1990s. Toyota uses the acronym TS to stand for Toyota Sport. Toyota is the first carmaker to participate the FIA World Endurance Championship using hybrid cars as entry, underscoring the company’s pioneering move to adopt this technology.

The TS030 HYBRID uses the THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain, which includes a V8 3.4litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and a hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by official team partner Nisshinbo. The team plans to use the TS030 HYBRID’s first test to evaluate the merits of a front motor system developed by Aisin AW and a rear motor system produced by official team partner DENSO.  Race regulations allow hybrid systems to recover only a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones and to restrict deployment to two wheels.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “Of course we would love to win Le Mans; that is the dream for all competitors in this race. But we are realistic and we know we need to develop and to learn in order to compete with some very strong competition. Our target this year is to show the performance level of our car and particularly the THS-R powertrain. Hybrid is a core technology of Toyota so it is important to demonstrate this in a motorsport arena and we want to prove it can bring a performance advantage, both in terms of lap time and fuel efficiency. Everyone involved in designing, developing and preparing the car – both at TMG and at Motor Sport Division in Japan – has worked incredibly hard to reach this point and we are all very excited to be back on the race track again.”

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