Toyota TS030 Hybrid
|Constructor||Toyota Motorsport GmbH|
|Chassis||Carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Independent double wishbone pushrod system|
|Suspension (rear)||Independent double wishbone pushrod system|
|Width||2,000 mm (78.7 in)|
|Height||1,030 mm (40.6 in)|
|Engine||Toyota 3.4 L (3,400 cc) 90-degree V8 Normally aspirated mid, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||6-speed sequential manual Viscous mechanical locking differential|
|Notable entrants||Toyota Racing|
|Notable drivers|| Sebastien Buemi
|Debut||2012 24 Hours of Le Mans|
The Toyota TS030 Hybrid is a motor racing car developed under Le Mans Prototype rules. The car ran at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, with two cars being entered in the LMP1 category, and became the first petrol-powered hybrid car to be entered in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The car features the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) regenerative braking device (the Le Mans organisers, ACO, use the alternate name ERS) to charge a supercapacitor. The extra power is directed to the rear wheels. Under the 2012 Le Mans rules they were allowed to use the system at any speed, unlike Audi who had elected to send power to the front, with a restriction to a minimum speed of 120 km/h.
The car marked Toyota's first works entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since the Toyota GT-One was entered in the 1999 race. The car was expected to make its debut at the 6 Heures de Spa-Francorchamps in May 2012, but a testing crash at Paul Ricard damaged the chassis beyond repair, and the team was forced to delay the TS030's debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June because of the time needed to produce a new monocoque. On lap 82 at Le Mans, Anthony Davidson's TS030 became airborne after a collision with Piergiuseppe Perazzini's Ferrari, and collided hard with track barriers. Davidson suffered two broken vertebrae (T11 & T12) from the incident. The second TS030, which had briefly led the race before the accident, retired several hours later after an engine failure.
After finishing in second place at the 6 Hours of Silverstone, the TS030 Hybrid took its first pole position and victory at the 6 Hours of São Paulo race, held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil. It finished the 2012 season with two more victories at the 6 Hours of Fuji and the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
With the new schedule for 2013, the first race of the year, 6 Hours of Silverstone saw Toyota enter with two 2012 spec TS030's. Both Toyota's showed stunning pace in qualifying, with the #7 machine qualifying more than 3 seconds ahead of the nearest Audi, whilst the #8 sister car qualified second. The race however was at best uneventful, with neither car being able to match either Audi's pace, finishing third and fourth overall having struggled in the first few hours of the race with tyre management. The second round at Spa-Francorchamps would see Toyota debut the new 2013 specification TS030 featuring a revised aerodynamic package and including an updated monocoque. After a close qualifying session, the updated #7 ran near the front of the race for the first three hours, before retiring due to overheating brakes as a result of a malfunctioning energy recovery system. With the rear brake assembly designed to be assisted with certain amounts of mechanical retardation provided by the hybrid recovery system by design, it did not provide the deceleration when malfunctioning, thus overloading the conventional rear brakes. The sister car remained in fourth for the rest of the event, closing what was a mixed outcome for the team. Post race, technical director Pascal Vasselon 'explained that his team's analysis from Spa showed that the current Balance of Performance significantly favours Audi's turbodiesel powerplant over its own normally-aspirated petrol engine', calling for the ACO and FIA for more favourable balance of performance to be applied before Le Mans.
As agreed at the start of the season, the FIA and the ACO reviewed the technical regulations at the end of May 2013 to adjust the performance between petrol and diesel LMP1 cars for the remainder of the 2013 WEC Championship. From the 24 Hours of Le Mans onwards, petrol-engined cars will have an additional 3 litres of fuel capacity.
Results in bold indicate pole position. Results in italics indicate fastest lap.
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