Toyota Is First To Announce Hybrid Race Car For 2012 Le Mans 24 Hour Race
Toyota TS030 HYBRID Le Mans Car 2012
The new TS030 HYBRID replaces the TS010 and TS020 cars of the 1990s, the latter of which was responsible for a second place podium finish at the Le Mans 24 hour event. The new 2012 model will also be based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne and houses a 3.4-litre V8 gasoline engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by their official team partner Nisshinbo.
TS030 HYBRID Le Mans Car
Its race debut will be on 5th May for the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship) as well as the 24 hour Le Mans on 16th and 17th June and selected races thereafter. The TS030 houses a V8 3.4litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by official team partner Nisshinbo. Two cars will be entered and the drivers of one have been confirmed; Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. The three challengers have already put the hybrid through its paces at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this month and are confident of its durability and performance.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President said of their chances: “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.”