Yamaha Motor Europe will continue as an ‘Official Supplier of TOYOTA Racing’ for the 2013 season in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The agreement will see Yamaha providing 16 Yamaha EC-03 electric (2-wheeler) vehicles for team mobility. Yamaha will also supply two ATV machines to the team.
The announcement comes as TOYOTA Racing prepares for the biggest racing challenge of the season, the gruelling 24 Heures du Mans which celebrates it’s 90th anniversary this weekend.
First run in 1923, the 24 Heures du Mans is the oldest active endurance car race in motorsports and sits alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Formula One race as one of the icons of motorsports. Iconic racers such as Derek Bell and Graham Hill, and legendary movie stars including Paul Newman and Steve McQueen have fought for glory over the years. Over the 24hr period the drivers cover over 5000km, a distance over six times longer than the Indy 500 and over 18 times longer than an average Formula One race. The race is run on the Circuit de la Sarthe, part closed racetrack and part public road with a length of 13.629km. The course includes the famous Mulsanne straight, historically six kilometres long, however now including two chicanes to reduce the time cars spend at maximum speed.
Yamaha Motor Europe began their positive collaboration with TOYOTA Racing in 2012, providing the EC-03 electric vehicles in the racing team’s first year in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The season proved to be a hugely successful one with the team’s TS030 HYBRID car competing and winning three of its six races. TOYOTA Racing took an impressive three wins from six races, receiving the Team Rookie of the Year Award from the FIA and ultimately being named as the best new WEC team of 2012.
Yamaha’s EC-03 pure electric vehicle is the inspiration of nearly three decades of continuous effort to design 2-wheeled vehicles that use electric power as a viable, low-emission alternative to petrol. With zero emissions from use and the ability to charge from any common wall socket the EC-03 redefines convenient, low-impact urban travel.
TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing (THS-R) consists of a 530hp v8, 3.4litre, petrol engine combined with a 300hp hybrid system. Under braking the system harvests energy which is converted into electricity. This electricity is transmitted, via an inverter, into a super capacitor storage device, sited next to the driver in the cockpit. When the driver accelerates, the hybrid boost is delivered automatically for around three seconds, adding power to that of the petrol engine.
“We are very pleased to be able to continue to work together with TOYOTA Racing through 2013,” commented Andrew Smith, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Yamaha Motor Europe. “Whilst their TS030 HYBRID racing car is bringing tomorrow’s hybrid technology to the race track, we continue to pioneer electric vehicles for the street, contributing to a cleaner, low carbon society. It makes our EC03 electric vehicle on 2 wheels a natural choice for TOYOTA Racing. As two of Japan’s most respected automotive manufacturers with amazing histories and current exploits at the highest levels of international racing it’s also a pleasure to be connected with an eye on the future! We would also like to congratulate TOYOTA on reaching an incredible milestone this year, having now produced over five million hybrid cars!”
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TOYOTA Racing Team President: “Our TS030 HYBRID has been developed using advanced motorsport engineering. It is the result of extensive research and development at both at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH in Cologne and TOYOTA’s Motor Sport Division in Japan. TOYOTA, like Yamaha, has a long history in motorsport; we both continue to write new pages as we develop and move forward with the next generation of machines.”