When the chequered flag fell at the end of the 6 Hours of São Paulo last year, our TOYOTA Racing team were euphoric for they brought the #7 car back to pick up the team’s maiden victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The team is now geared up to return to this happy hunting ground with an updated aero package and we’ve got an exclusive shot to whet your appetite before the weekend! Click through the break for our Brazil preview.
Last year, the #7 TS030 HYBRID of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre drove from pole to victory at the 4.309km Interlagos circuit to pick up the team’s first of three wins in the final four races of the FIA WEC season.
After a 10-week break, which included some show running at Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, our team returns to Brazil with the #8 car and drivers. Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin will remain in the driver’s seat.
Our team outlined its plans for the 2013 season last month which will see Alex and Nicolas concentrate on development of the 2014 car with testing and simulation sessions. Kazuki Nakajima will continue his title defence in Super Formula and also race in Super GT in Japan.
With the long straights at Le Mans, the cars needed a lower downforce aerodynamic package to take full advantage. For the remainder of the season, we’re heading off to more twisty grand prix circuits so we will be bringing a revised TS030 HYBRID to Brazil.
The updated aerodynamics package has been developed at our team’s home based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany to generate significantly more downforce levels compared to the Le Mans-spec car
At Le Mans, the average speed of the TS030 HYBRID was close to 240km/h while the shorter, slower tracks for the rest of the season have an average speed of around 180km/h.
So… What’s changed? Well, the most significant changes include modifications to the front wheel arches, engine cover and the rear wing. Several other aerodynamic features have been fine-tuned to suit the different characteristics of upcoming racetracks.
Our updates are also not just skin deep. The TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing powertrain is now optimised for shorter six-hour races in a sprint race setting as opposed to the 24-hour endurance challenge of Le Mans.
A few weeks ago, Anthony and Sébastien took part in a two-day test at Lausitzring in Germany, completing some 1,500km of test mileage.
Track action begins on August 30 with two free practice session on Friday and a final on Saturday before qualifying. The six hour race starts at midday local time, or 17:00 CEST on Sunday, September 1.
In case you missed it last week, we just launched our Le Mans short film to help you get into racing mood after the long summer break. Check it out below the driver quotes.
Watch Anthony take the TS030 HYBRID around Interlagos in TMG’s state-of-the-art driving simulator: