Toy­ota changes ways with brand new car as it looks to fight back in LMP1 peck­ing or­der

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing is con­fi­dent of a ma­jor step for­ward in this year’s FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship with its all-new TS050 LMP1 ma­chine.

The Ja­panese squad en­dured a tor­rid 2015 cam­paign as its ti­tlewin­ning TS040 was hum­bled by new gen­er­a­tion ma­chin­ery from Porsche and Audi.

Hav­ing lifted the world ti­tle with the twin-kers TS040 in 2014, Toy­ota lagged to a dis­tant third best be­hind its Ger­man ri­vals as the lim­i­ta­tions of a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V6 en­gine held back per­for­mance against the tur­bocharged 919 Hy­brid and R18 e-tron qu­at­tro.

For this year Toy­ota has com­pletely changed phi­los­o­phy with a car that is al­most to­tally new. The TS050 fea­tures a 2.4-litre twin turbo V6 en­gine and a new lithium ion bat­tery en­ergy stor­age sys­tem, which has en­abled the team to push the car into the highest 8MJ hy­brid sub-class – putting it on an even foot­ing with Porsche and a class higher than Audi.

The TS050 re­cov­ers its en­ergy un­der brak­ing from dual KERS sys­tems and it also fea­tures an all-new frontal aero­dy­nam­ics con­cept. The new car lapped 1.7s faster than last year’s TS040 did at Paul Ri­card.

Hisa­take Mu­rata, Toy­ota’s en­gine devel­op­ment head, said: “We be­lieve a V6, di­rect in­jec­tion, twin turbo en­gine can achieve the best bal­ance of power and ef­fi­ciency. Com­bined with our move to the 8MJ class, this will give us sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved torque com­pared to the pre­vi­ous pow­er­train. It presents some chal­lenges on weight and cool­ing, but the team at Hi­gashi-fuji and Cologne has worked hard on these. I’m con­fi­dent we’ve met the chal­lenge.”

Team tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Pas­cal Vas­selon added: “We have changed ev­ery part [for the new car]. The aero­dy­namic con­cept has changed. There has been a progress rate in WEC so we can­not af­ford to have any area which is not op­ti­mised. It has been de­vel­oped on that ba­sis.”

Toy­ota has re­tained Anthony David­son, Se­bastien Buemi and Kazuki Naka­jima, with Stephane Sar­razin, Mike Con­way and new­comer Ka­mui Kobayashi shar­ing the sis­ter car.

New TS050 has brand new ev­ery­thing: from en­gine to aero

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