Tras 25.000 kilometers preseason testing and 2.752 kilometers at the La Sarthe circuit with the 2018 specification in the TS050 HYBRID, Toyota GAZOO Racing everything is ready for your participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that will be played this weekend. The activity will begin this Wednesday with a training session, which will be followed by three qualifying rounds, a full tanks session and the race, which will begin on Saturday at 15 p.m. local time.
Toyota GAZOO Racing will face the most important race on the calendar of the World Endurance with only one goal: victory. For that he will enlist two TS050 HYBRIDs. No. 7 will be driven by the Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, English Mike conway and the Japanese Kamui Kobayashi. While in No. 8 the Swiss will alternate in his driving Sébastien Buemithe Japanese Kazuki Nakajima and Spanish Fernando Alonso, who competes for the first time in this mythical competition.
“All the work of the last 12 months comes down to the race week at Le Mans. All the tests, efforts and sacrifices are for this race where we have to perform at our best ”, Pechito López explained.
“It's going to be a great race, with a lot of attention on us this year. It will be a special feeling and I can't wait to experience the atmosphere again. There are some great drivers and a lot of prototype cars, so it's a great grid; I'm looking forward to one of the most exciting races in a long time ”, added the three-time WTCC champion.
After obtaining the first two steps of the podium in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the first race of the WEC season, Toyota hopes to fight for the win in its XNUMXth attempt at victory at Le Mans.
The Japanese team has already shown its potential in recent years at Le Mans, where it fell on the brink of victory with a technical problem on the penultimate lap in 2016 and set a record fast lap that earned it pole position last year. .
Toyota faces the Le Mans challenge with around 35% less fuel than in 2012, when he raced his first hybrid LMP1 car on the La Sarthe circuit, thanks to the more efficient hybrid electric motor currently equipped. The TS050 HYBRID can handle 35,1 kg of fuel per shift, enough for 11 laps of 13,626 km at Le Mans.
The exact amount of fuel that will be available has not yet been confirmed, but it will certainly be considerably more than that of the TS050 HYBRID, which means more power and performance for non-hybrid vehicles, but also more and longer stops to recharge. .
However, on the recent test day at Le Mans, the team Rebellion Racing he posted a lap time more than four seconds shorter than that ever recorded by any non-hybrid LMP1 vehicle since the WEC, auguring an exciting and contested race at Le Mans.
The circuit has undergone some change since last year's race, with greater security measures that have meant a reduction of the official length of the circuit by three meters. That means Kobayashi's pole position time in 2017 of 3m14s791, on the 13,629 km circuit, it can never be beaten, and will join in the history of Le Mans records the fastest lap in the history of Martin Brundle at the 13,605 km circuit, at the wheel of a TS020 in 1999 .
With the 2018 specification, the TS050 HYBRID has already covered 2.752 km of the Circuit de la Sarthe, and set the fastest lap during the official test day, last Sunday 3. Toyota hopes to maintain that level of reliability and performance in practice and the race.