2013 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Le Mans prototype
While Audi continues
to set the benchmark in World Endurance Championship racing, particularly at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the newcomer to prototype racing, Toyota, is eager to prove it has the pace to win.
Coming off a strong showing at last year's 24-hour race, and a trio of wins to close out the 2012 WEC season, Toyota thinks its latest developments to the TS030 Hybrid race car
have put it right where it needs to be going into next week's race.
"Leading Le Mans last year, and winning three WEC races, has given us a taste for success," said team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita. "It would be a dream for us to stand on the top of the podium at such a legendary race."
During the test day this week, Toyota ran more than 80 laps in each of the two TS030s it has entered in the race, with each one focusing on different aspects of tuning and preparation: one for aerodynamics, the other for tire and suspension setup.
Underpinning both race cars is the hybrid gasoline-electric drivetrain. With up to 300 horsepower of boost available from the supercapacitor-based hybrid system and 530 horsepower from its 3.4-liter normally aspirated V-8 engine, the TS030 is even more powerful than the diesel-burning Audi R18 e-tron quattro
, which corrals 490 horsepower from its TDI diesel engine and 218 horsepower from its kinetic flywheel hybrid system.
We'll be on hand at the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, bringing you as much coverage as we can live from the trackside, so stay tuned. The green flag waves on June 22.