Toyota snags Davidson, Buemi to drive TS030 at Le Mans

Toyota snags Davidson, Buemi to drive TS030 at Le Mans

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota F1 drivers typically have a shelf life shorter than what you otherwise might call a career. As the constant stream of new, young drivers usurps existing F1 seats, you’re left with a wealth of talent available to contest other forms of motorsport. That’s how you end up with former grand prix pilots in other series like IndyCar , DTM and even ice racing . Then there’s Le Mans . Every year the most famous of endurance races packs its grid with rejects from the Formula One circus, and 2012 is no exception, particularly with Toyota launching a works effort out of the German facility that used to house its F1 team. Toyota has already confirmed that the first of its TS030 Hybrid LMP1 racers will be driven by former F1 drivers Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima (along with Nicolas Lapierre), and has now announced that Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi are on the roster for the second car. Davidson is an established F1 test driver, having worked for the team known successively as BAR, Honda , Brawn and Mercedes . He’s also driven a handful of grands prix for Super Aguri and Minardi , and contested Le Mans and related series for Aston Martin Racing and Peugeot Sport , including a win at Sebring. Buemi drove the last three F1 seasons for Scuderia Toro Rosso until being cut this year. He’ll combine his endurance racing debut with his test driver role at Red Bull Racing .

Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry

Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry

February 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota , Racing When Toyota announced its return to endurance sports car racing with the new TS030 Hybrid this season, the plan was to enter a handful of races, like Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps, on an invitational basis. Plans change, though, and Toyota has now upgraded the program to a full manufacturer entry, paving the way for it to compete in the entire FIA World Endurance Championship schedule. Now, with budget constraints, it’s likely that Toyota will still pick and choose which races to contest, but it does open the door. The change was apparently made in order to support endurance racing as a motorsport discipline. As part of its arrangement with the FIA , organizers at the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) need at least two manufacturers in the LMP1 category. With Peugeot’s withdrawal, the series lacked the requisite level of participation, so Toyota stepped up to fill the void. Follow the jump for the full announcement. Continue reading Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry Toyota upgrades limited TS030 Hybrid racing program to full WEC entry originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 05 Feb 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype [w/video]

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype [w/video]

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Toyota , Racing The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, apparently, do the world’s automakers. At least, that is, when it comes to Le Mans . Case in point: the new Toyota TS030 Hybrid, the Le Mans prototype that the Japanese automaker has just revealed, mere days after Peugeot announced its departure from the endurance racing scene. Shorthand for the third Toyota Sport prototype – following the TS010 and TS020 that challenged Le Mans in the ’90s – the TS030 is the first LMP1 to employ a hybrid drivetrain. ( Peugeot was experimenting with a similar system before shutting down its program, and Audi is rumored to be testing one as well, but has yet to announce it to the public.) Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R) couples a 3.4-liter V8 to one of two potential electric motor setups: a front-mounted system developed by Aisin AW or a rear-mounted one from Denso. According to regulations, the electric boost can only drive one set of wheels, and Toyota has yet to decide which, although the 500kJ capacitor supplied by Nisshinbo is already a lock. The carbon fiber chassis, meanwhile, was developed in-house by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany – the same outfit that ran the company’s F1 team and has been looking for a new project ever since. The facility will serve as the team’s headquarters as well, from which it will field one car in its debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – the second round of the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – on May 5. Toyota is planning to field a second car at Le Mans in June, but while the first car’s driver roster is already confirmed , the team has yet to decide on its second line-up.

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Toyota , Racing The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, apparently, do the world’s automakers. At least, that is, when it comes to Le Mans . Case in point: the new Toyota TS030 Hybrid, the Le Mans prototype that the Japanese automaker has just revealed, mere days after Peugeot announced its departure from the endurance racing scene. Shorthand for the third Toyota Sport prototype – following the TS010 and TS020 that challenged Le Mans in the ’90s – the TS030 is the first LMP1 to employ a hybrid drivetrain. ( Peugeot was experimenting with a similar system before shutting down its program, and Audi is rumored to be testing one as well, but has yet to announce it to the public.) Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R) couples a 3.4-liter V8 to one of two potential electric motor setups: a front-mounted system developed by Aisin AW or a rear-mounted one from Denso. According to regulations, the electric boost can only drive one set of wheels, and Toyota has yet to decide which, although the 500kJ capacitor supplied by Nisshinbo is already a lock. The carbon fiber chassis, meanwhile, was developed in-house by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany – the same outfit that ran the company’s F1 team and has been looking for a new project ever since. The facility will serve as the team’s headquarters as well, from which it will field one car in its debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – the second round of the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – on May 5. Toyota is planning to field a second car at Le Mans in June, but while the first car’s driver roster is already confirmed , the team has yet to decide on its second line-up.

Toyota begins testing new hybrid LMP1

Toyota begins testing new hybrid LMP1

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Spy Photos , Coupe , Hybrid , Europe , Toyota , Racing The sudden departure of Peugeot from the Le Mans racing scene came as quite a shock, we know. But don’t count the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – or the famed 24-hour race at its center – out for the count before it’s even started, because another powerhouse is already gearing up to take Peugeot’s place. And that powerhouse is Toyota . The Japanese auto giant announced its plans to build and campaign a new LMP1 racer at Le Mans and the WEC back in October. Toyota Motorsport GmbH (which ran the company’s F1 team until its withdrawal in 2009) then set about designing the car, partnering with Team Oreca to help with the logistics of entering the pinnacle of endurance racing, and hired three top pilots to, you know, actually drive the thing. With all those pieces in place, the Toyota team began testing their new prototype racer last week at the Paul Ricard test track in France. Toyota itself didn’t release much in the way of details, but Alex Wurz was said to have led the shake-down, with his team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima on hand to share in the driving duties as well. And while no “official” photos were “officially” released, Toyota PR rep Scott Brownlee tweeted a couple of snapshots to whet our appetites. The result looks, predictably enough, much like the latest LMP1 racers fielded by Audi and the departed Peugeot, but as with most things, it’s what’s underneath the surface that will count the most. In Toyota’s sake, that would be a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain of some sort, but we’ll have to wait a little while longer – as the next round of testing and the car’s anticipated debut at Spa come May approach – to find out more.

Toyota returning to Le Mans with hybrid LMP1 car

Toyota returning to Le Mans with hybrid LMP1 car

October 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Hybrid , Toyota , Racing Toyota has announced that it is returning to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s World Endurance Championship in 2012. The car it will be contesting the series with is a new prototype that will use a hybrid gasoline/electric powertrain. We can only hope the experience will equal more exciting future models under the Prius range… The last time Toyota competed in Le Mans racing was in 1999, just before the Japanese automaker abandoned the GT-One program to focus on Formula One. We don’t expect Toyota’s new LMP1 racer to have anything in common with the erstwhile GT-One, which was powered by a 600-horsepower 3.6-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. Though always fast, Toyota’s last-gen endurance racer never quite put together a complete race. Here’s hoping the effort produces more consistent results this time around. Check out the official announcement after the break . Continue reading Toyota returning to Le Mans with hybrid LMP1 car Toyota returning to Le Mans with hybrid LMP1 car originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Oct 2011 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota to field all-new LMP1 at Le Mans next year?

Toyota to field all-new LMP1 at Le Mans next year?

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota 1998 Toyota GT-One – Click above for high-res image gallery This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans packed plenty of action, but there weren’t as many automakers fielding their own entries in the top-tier LMP1 category as you might think. There was Audi , of course, which has dominated the category for years, arch-rival Peugeot , with its diesel-powered challenger, and Aston Martin , which stepped up to the big leagues after dominating just about every GT category for years. Honda Performance Development had a couple of cars in the second-tier LMP2 category, and there were plenty of factory-supported GT cars. The rest of the LMP1 field was filled by privateers running mostly Lola, Zytek, Oreca or Judd chassis, powered by a variety of engines. But the coming years could see an influx of new automakers aiming to take on Audi for the top honors. According to the latest rumors, race organizers ACO are in discussions with a number of car manufacturers interested in entering the LMP1 category. Chief among them is reportedly Toyota , which is said to have been working on its own prototype since last year. The Toyota LMP1 is reportedly being developed with Dome – a Japanese chassis constructor that’s built such racing machinery as the competition-spec Honda NSX , an aborted F1 program and several Le Mans prototypes, as well as a handful of Toyota racers in the 1980s – and incorporates a hybrid powertrain. The last time Toyota competed at Le Mans was with the GT-One (pictured above), which raced there in 1998 and 1999 but held the lap record at La Sarthe until 2006. The new entry, according to reports, could be ready for an assault on next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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