Tag Archives: Endurance

Toyota will Return to Le Mans 24 Hours with All-New TS030 Hybrid Race Car

25 Jan

Toyota TS030 Prototype: Photo Courtesy Toyota Motor Corporation and Autoblog.com

Yes, it’s a hybrid. Toyota has unveiled its all-new TS030 Hybrid race car. It will be the first car of its kind to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship when it makes its racing debut on May 5 at the six hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Toyota also hopes to complete head-to-head with Audi Sport’s R18 TDI at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. It has been 13 years since the Japanese manufacturer last took part in the 24 hour race with the TS030’s predecessor the TS020, also known as the Toyota GT-One. Since Toyota’s decision to forgo the 2000 race Audi has dominated the top LMP1 ((Le Mans Prototype 1) class winning 10 of the last 12 races.

Powering the TS030 is a 3.4-liter, naturally aspirated V8 gasoline engine with a hybrid system consisting of capacitor storage areas at the front and rear of the vehicle. The hybrid system allows the vehicle to recoup lost power during braking. However, current racing regulations limit the amount of power stored to 500 kJ (kilojoules). The chassis is comprised of carbon-fiber and was developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG).

Ironically, on the same day Toyota annouced their return for this year’s race, Audi’s recent rival Peugeot has suddenly and unexpectedly withdrawn their 908 LMP1 prototype, which defeated the Audi R15 TDI in 2009 at Le Mans. Without Toyota’s entry the race for the overall crown would have been a foregone conclusion, as Audi would have been the only serious contender in the class.

Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima have been chosen to pilot one of the two prototypes, but the line-up for the second car has yet to be determined.

Video courtesy of Toyota Motorsport GmbH

© 2012 GermanAutoNews

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Porsche returning to Le Mans in 2014

1 Jul

By Matt McCarron

Porsche 911 GT1: Courtesy Porsche North America

During the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month one might have noticed there was not much in the way of competition in the top-tier LMP1 sports prototype class. An Audi has claimed 10 of the last 12 overall wins at the world’s most prestigious endurance race. The other two overall wins went to Peugeot in 2009 and a Audi-powered Bentley in 2003. The last time Porsche took the overall at Le Mans was in 1998 when the 911 GT1, driven by Laurent Aïello, Allan McNish, and Stéphane Ortelli.

Despite 13 years passing since Porsche stood on top of the podium at the famed Circuit de la Sarthe Matthias Müller, President of the Executive Board at Porsche AG said it was only a matter of time before the most successful manufacturer in the history of the race returned to once again fight for the overall title.

“Porsche’s successes in Le Mans are unrivalled. We want to follow up on this with the 17th outright victory,” said Müller.

The return of Porsche Motorsport to the LMP1 class should add depth and variety to a class that has become more predictable in previous years. Audi and Peugeot will now have another serious competitor to contend with. More competition in a race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans is always a good thing, especially when the new competition includes a manufacturer with as storied history as Porsche.

Porsche 911 GT1 at Circuit de la Sarthe 1998: Courtesy Porsche North America

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com