The TS030 HYBRID completed its second endurance test yesterday, the first being at Paul Ricard in February.
Testing this week began with a development program, running the new aerodynamic package and updated hybrid system. TOYOTA Racing continued on Wednesday morning with a long-distance test lasting 30 hours.
The three drivers of the #7 car, Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, as well as Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who will drive the #8 car at the Le Mans 24 Hours, took turns behind the wheel of the TS030 HYBRID.
Anthony Davidson was driving the TS030 HYBRID for the first time, although he was already familiar with the car’s characteristics having completed numerous sessions in the driving simulator at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne.
This week’s test session was particularly important for the team’s preparation for Le Mans, with the MotorLand Aragon track proving well suited to preparations for the 16-17 June race.
As well as working on performance and reliability, the three days were also used for Michelin tire testing. In addition, mechanics and drivers practiced pit-stops before and during the endurance test, in race conditions.
TOYOTA Racing’s test program will resume later this month for a final test before the Le Mans test and race, where two TS030 HYBRIDs will be entered in the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “MotorLand is representative of Le Mans circuit in terms of track layout, asphalt characteristics and weather conditions. Therefore, we have been able to evaluate several options on our new bodywork and develop it with the Le Mans 24 Hours in mind. Adding to that, we continue our work on the assessment of Michelin’s tyre range to ensure we can cover all kinds of temperature and track conditions. The endurance test has not been as smooth as we expected. We had a couple of issues but we fixed them to achieve a reasonable mileage. Step by step, we are close to having a car capable to do a 24-hour race. After such a long time without being on track, I am pleased to see that both team and car have made a real step forward. Even if we would have liked to hit the track in the past weeks, we have used this time as a benefit.”
Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader: “We have been running on a challenging track, with lot of G-forces, vibrations and high temperatures, which is really good for testing our TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing powertrain before Le Mans. We could compile a lot of data. Before coming to this test we had not validated all the specs of the THS-R; this helps us to finalize it. All the updates are positive, including during the pit stop where we have seen how our system is a benefit for the restart as we quickly reach the speed limit. Day by day, test after test, we make good progress.”