Toyota Racing ready to Spa-rkle
It’s the date in our diary which no-one at Toyota Racing was likely to forget. The date with a big red circle around it on many calendars around the team’s HQ at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG). Our first race: the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
However, circumstances were against the team and, while the WEC (FIA World Endurance Championship) circus starts life in Europe for the season, Toyota Racing staff will instead be busy at Magny-Cours with a one-day functionality test of the new-built TS030 HYBRID.
After a testing accident severely damaged the first monocoque, TMG has been a hive of activity to build a second example, to exactly the same design, by the way.
Sadly the production time of a carbon fibre monocoque is around eight to 10 weeks so it was simply impossible to have a car ready for the Spa race, despite the super-human efforts of TMG’s composites production team.
The second chassis was finalised on Tuesday night and shipped to Spa for a WEC photo shoot on Wednesday morning. The TMG truckies stopped off in the Ardennes briefly on the way from Cologne to Magny-Cours, where a busy day’s testing awaits today.
With the planned new aerodynamic package and the race-one hybrid system specification never having been on track for testing, some functionality tests are needed before the TS030 HYBRID can even think of racing for the first time.
That first time will be at Le Mans in June where two cars will line up at La Sarthe. Before then, Toyota Racing team members have a very busy time to catch up on lost testing time and make the best of the situation having lost valuable race experience at Spa.
But even considering the heavy workload facing them, the 250 TMG staff will certainly find time to stay up to date with events 120 km away in Belgium…