World Endurance Championship

Toyota LMP1 hybrid race car for 2012 revealed

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    It looks like this car is going to make more of an impact than I really gave it credit for. I didn’t really give them much of a chance of impressing any more than Aston Martin managed a few years ago, especially after they were forced to sit out Spa, losing precious race mileage. However the times they set in the Le Mans pre test put them just a second or two off the pace of the leading Audi. That’s a lot closer than I thought they’d be, and puts them within striking distance of a good podium finish, even if the win is out of their reach.

    Toyotas efforts certain make them seem like viable contenders in the future, to have produced a car that fast in such a short space of time and with such little testing.

    Of course, you have to question just how much faster Audi would be going if Peugeot were there to push them..


    Now that Toyota is blue and white… it looks like a Peugeot.


    White, blue, flashes of red and gold – it’s like one of those old Rothmans Porsche Group C cars!!

    Toyota are looking promising in testing, but like F1 testing, teams won’t all be showing real pace, it is hard to tell. Audi will still be massive favourites – especially when there will be 4 R18s! Why so many Audis? I expect they will cut back to 2 cars in 2014 when Porsche enter 2 cars, that would still mean 4 VW cars.

    Toyota wil want to show their hybrid tech is good, so they will make sure the budget is there to make them competative, they will be stronger than Aston due to a much larger budget, but I reckon Audi will beat them convincingly, but I would expect them to be closer to Audi next year.


    @Calum Isnt one of the R18s a hybrid car or something, and not the standard diesel engined one. As for why so many, I dont know but 4 isnt many by Le Man standards and I think there was 4 908s running last year if memory serves and there was atleast 14 Porsche 956’s in ’84!

    I hope Toyota does well, but I fear the only chance they have is if the Audi’s all crash/retire out of the race whilst 1 of theirs gets to the line. Is a nice livery though, although


    Two of the R18s are hybrid, 4 wheel drive machines, but for reasons which escape me they are classified under the ACO rules as eligible for the P1 class. The diesel engine drives the rear wheels while above 100km/h power is sent to the front wheels via an electric motor, boosting power. They also travel down the pitlane under electric power I *think*. Check out their funky lighting system they use, by the way, to identify the car as it comes down the pitlane. The LED chaser strips around the lights strobe different colours for each driver.

    Anyway, yeah it is always worth considering that testing times aren’t usually that representative. However they do at least compare favourably with the qualifying times set last year. The pole time in 2011 was a 3:25.7, with the fastest testing time in 2012 being 3:25.9. That’s fairly consistent, and at least shows you that the TS030 is able to get into the same performance ballpark with a low 3:27, even if it’s unclear what the true potential of either it or the Audi R18 might be this year.

    It’s also interesting that the eTron Quattro cars (the hybrid Audis) appear to be the faster cars. Perhaps there is something about hybrid systems which will act as something of a performance leveller this year. You could certainly imagine Toyota using their hybrid system to make up for the torque defecit the petrol cars suffer coming out of the slower corners, where the diesels tend to hold the big advantage.

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