TOYOTA LAUNCHES LE MANS INVESTIGATION
Toyota Gazoo Racing has launched an investigation into the turbo failure that cost it victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the dying moments of the race.
The Japanese-german squad has carried out tests on the # 5 TS050 HYBRID that stopped with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel and lost a certain victory as it started its final lap of La Sarthe.
A statement from Toyota said: “Car #5 suffered a technical defect on a connector on the air line between the turbocharger and the intercooler, causing a loss of the turbocharger control.
“The team attempted to modify the control settings to restore power and this was eventually achieved, allowing the car to complete the final lap. However, it was achieved too late to complete that lap within the required six minutes.”
Toyota has now launched a full investigation into the failure, and has ruled out that the issue was in any way related to its engine troubles during the previous FIA World Endurance Championship round at SpaFrancorchamps. Both cars suffered technical failures on their 2.4-litre twin turbo V6 powerplants, but they were put down to the loads sustained in the compression at Eau Rouge Corner.
“Currently it is not clear why this failure occurred [at Le Mans],” continued the statement, “as we have verified the process to produce the part here at Cologne. It is clear the issue has no link whatsoever to the engine issues experienced at Spa.”
One of the team’s denied trio of drivers, Sebastien Buemi, said he couldn’t accept the loss of the win.
He told Autosport: “I was p*ssed off, angry, and couldn’t accept it for two days. I don’t know if you can call it destiny of whatever… why this thing held off for 23 hours and 55 minutes and not 24 hours.
“I realised being angry is not going to bring you anything; it’s not going to put you on the podium. I’ll try to come back next year and when we do win this race it’ll be amazing.”