TOYOTA Racing has returned to La Sarthe for the 90th anniversary running of the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours later this weekend. Our team returns after making its debut last year with the same driver line-up and two 2013-spec cars. Read more after the break.
For the first time, both crews will be running the new 2013-spec TOYOTA Racing TS030 HYBRID. The #7 will be piloted by Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima while the #8 car has Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin at the wheel.
After seven test sessions, including the official Le Mans Test two weekends ago, the updated TS030 HYBRID has shown that it is a clear step forward in terms of reliability and performance. Some of the tests included several successful endurance tests, exceeding 30 hours, testing both the machine and the team to the limits.
Sitting at the heart of the TS030 HYBRID is the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing (THS-R) powertrain which recuperates energy under braking at the seven designated energy recovery zones at La Sarthe, before automatically delivering the 300hp boost.
Later this week, we will publish a new video explaining how THS-R really works. Keep checking back for the latest from La Sarthe!
As per tradition, both our cars were loaded on trucks and taken to the city centre for the pre-Le Mans technical inspection. The event brings the cars to the people at the prominent Place de la République.
The sun was shining on Sunday as we disembarked our TMG Toyota Hiace and the crowds lined the streets and square, eagerly anticipating the arrival of drivers and their awesome machines.
Although the procedure was delayed slightly, both of our cars and five of our six drivers all passed their inspections. Kazuki Nakajima was just finishing his Super GT race and on his way to Le Mans so he was only scheduled for scrutineering on Monday.
We’ll start our live blog starting Wednesday when Free Practice and the first Qualifying session take place. On Thursday, there will be a further two qualifying sessions before the drivers take to the town of Le Mans on the traditional Drivers’ Parade on Friday. On Saturday, after a morning Warm Up, the race procession will begin with the race-start flag falling at 15:00 CET.
You can follow TOYOTA Racing’s live Le Mans week coverage on Twitter (@Toyota_Hybrid), team website (http://www.toyotahybridracing.com) and watch all the latest videos on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMJ_oV58WE4FI9fqlQl5f1miLU0nHDJ7t), including our Driver Diary series. You can watch Alex talking about Scrutineering below.