El Toyota GAZOO Racing the 2018-2019 super season begins this week FIA World Endurance Championship with the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, where Fernando Alonso will make its racing debut with Toyota.
The Spaniard will ride the TS050 HYBRID No. 8 for the first time in the race, which he shares with last year's winners at Spa-Francorchamps. Sébastien Buemi y Kazuki Nakajima; while the pilots of the TS050 HYBRID No. 7, Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi y Jose Maria Lopez, will compete together for the second consecutive season.
The first race of the 2018-2019 WEC super season, which takes place this Saturday, marks the beginning of a new era for Toyota GAZOO Racing in the ultimate endurance competition, in which the performance and efficiency of the hybrid electric motor of the TS050 HYBRID will be put to the test like never before.
After six years of competition with third-party hybrid rivals in the LMP1 class, this year Toyota faces a group of eight privately-owned non-hybrid vehicles that boast significant performance advantages, such as 49% more fuel energy per lap, 37,5% more fuel flow and 45 kg less minimum weight.
To compete in these conditions, Toyota's hybrid electric motor will have to once again show advances such as those that have allowed it to reduce consumption by 35% at Le Mans since 2012. Those advances are precisely what contribute to Toyota continues to create ever-better vehicles for its customers, with more than 11,5 million hybrid electric vehicles sold worldwide since 1997, the launch year of the pioneer of hybrid technology, the Toyota Prius.
Toyota GAZOO Racing has accepted the challenge and has prepared its two TS050 HYBRIDs for the new season, with more than 25.000 km of tests carried out during the winter before the appointment in Spa, where the objective will be to win for the third time on the classic Belgian circuit. Toyota has competed six times in the WEC in Spa, which for the team is like its second home, after the Fuji circuit, as it is located just an hour's drive from the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing technical center in Cologne, Germany.
The Spa race is traditionally seen as a warm-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be held in mid-June, since for the teams it is the first and last opportunity to compete before the legendary French race, the most important event. of the year. The appointment in Spa this Saturday also has the honor of being the first of a season that will consist of eight races and that will have its final point at Le Mans 2019.
With its 1.000 hp of power, The TS050 HYBRID will compete at Spa with the low downforce specification for Le Mans, which sacrifices cornering grip in order to achieve superior top speed on the long straights. Last year, the low downforce TS050 HYBRID set the time
The new WEC season will get underway this Thursday, May 3, with two 90-minute training sessions in the afternoon. On Friday, May 4, the last training session will be held, followed by qualifying, while on Saturday, May 5, at 13.30:XNUMX p.m. local time, the show will start with the start of the test.