TOYOTA GAZOO RACING INSPIRED TO WIN IN 2017 FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

Team reveal updated Toyota TS050 Hybrid race car at Monza

Toyota Gazoo Racing revealed the updated TS050 Hybrid at the Monza circuit in Italy today, the car it will field in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.

British driver Mike Conway will join Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) and José María López (Argentina) in the No7 car for the full season, alongside former champions Anthony Davidson (GB) and Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland), and Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) in the No8 machine. This year a third Toyota, No9, will be entered for the race at Spa-Francorchamps and the Le Mans 24 Hours, crewed by Stéphane Sarrazin (France), Yuji Kunimoto (Japan) and Nicolas Lapierre (France).

The team’s clear target is a first victory at Le Mans, following an extraordinary near-miss in 2016. Their challenge will benefit from the combined efforts of the technical centres in Higashi-Fuji in Japan and Cologne, Germany.

For a full gallery of photographs of the TS050 Hybrid, click here.

Conway has given the new car a warm welcome. He said: “I like it a lot; right now it feels very good. Now we need to see what our competitors are going to do. I feel good about the season and our car crew. I learned a lot in 2015-2016 and it has been a good journey for me so far. This season we will fight for every podium and will do our best in the No7 car.”

Davidson added: “It’s always exciting getting in a new car for the first few times. We’ve had a change of regulations regarding the car’s performance, which has made quite a big change – mainly in the aerodynamics. But you can tell that the engineers have done a great job, so far making the car feel similar to drive compared to last year, which is a good sign.”

Technical upgrades and changes

The 2017 car is powered by a 2.4-litre V6 turbocharged engine with an 8MJ hybrid system. Significant work at Higashi-Fuji has produced a new engine that achieves optimal thermal efficiency through a higher compression ratio. This has been achieved by developing the combustion chamber, cylinder block and cylinder head.

The hybrid system has also been improved. Motor generator units (MGU) have been reduced in size and weight and there has been further development of the high-power lithium-ion battery. The advances that have been made will also directly benefit Toyota’s customers, as technical know-how gained by powertrain engineers will be applied to creating ever-better road cars.

The wide-ranging updates to the TS050 are completed by changes to almost every part of the chassis, with colleagues in Cologne and Higashi-Fuji co-operating as a single team.

New championship regulations for 2017 target a reduction in aerodynamic efficiency, a change that should increase the lap time at Le Mans by several seconds, for safety reasons. The requirements have been met by raising the front splitter by 15mm and reducing the width of the rear diffuser. Toyota Gazoo Racing have used computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing to modify the car’s aerodynamic concept, producing a design with a raised nose and a sharp undercut to the sidepods.

The new rules limit teams to two aerodynamic configurations per season, down from three in 2016. The car unveiled today is in low-downforce form. Tyre use has also been restricted with a limit of four sets per car plus two spares, for qualifying and six-hour races. Toyota Gazoo Racing have worked with supplier Michelin to meet this challenge, with new compounds and constructions and changes to the suspension geometry to limit tyre wear.

The new TS050 Hybrid has already covered more than 18,000 miles in five test sessions this year, including two 30-hour endurance runs. Its qualities will be put to the test in competition for the first time on 16 April at Silverstone, challenging Porsche for the championship’s LMP1 class honours.

Driver Profiles

Mike Conway

Born 19 August 1983, Sevenoaks, Great Britain

Le Mans debut 2013

Le Mans starts 3

Le Mans best result 2nd (2016)

WEC starts 28

WEC wins 2

WEC best season 3rd (2016)

 

Kamui Kobayashi

Born 13 September 1986, Hyogo, Japan

Le Mans debut 2013

Le Mans starts 2

Le Mans best result 2nd (2016)

WEC starts 17

WEC wins 1

WEC best season 3rd (2016)

 

José María López

Born 26 April 1983, Río Tercero, Argentina

Le Mans debut 2017

Le Mans starts 0

Le Mans best result n/a

WEC starts 0

WEC wins 0

WEC best season n/a

 

Sébastien Buemi

Born 31 October 1988, Aigle, Switzerland

Le Mans debut 2012

Le Mans starts 5

Le Mans best result 2nd (2013)

WEC starts 34

WEC wins 5

WEC best season 1st (2014)

 

Anthony Davidson

Born 18 April 1979, Hemel Hempstead, Great Britain

Le Mans debut 2003

Le Mans starts 9

Le Mans best result 2nd (2013)

WEC starts 33

WEC wins 5

WEC best season 1st (2014)

 

Kazuki Nakajima

Born 11 January 1985, Okazaki, Japan

Le Mans debut 2012

Le Mans starts 5

Le Mans best result 4th (2013)

WEC starts 28

WEC wins 2

WEC best season 7th (2015)

 

Stéphane Sarrazin

Born 2 November 1975, Alès, France

Le Mans debut 2001

Le Mans starts 15

Le Mans best result 2nd (2007, 2009, 2013 & 2016)

WEC starts 41

WEC wins 3

WEC best season 3rd (2013 & 2016)

 

Yuji Kunimoto

Born 12 September 1990, Yokohama, Japan

Le Mans debut n/a

Le Mans starts 0

Le Mans best result n/a

WEC starts 0

WEC wins 0

WEC best season n/a

 

Nicolas Lapierre

Born 2 April 1984, Thonon-Les-Bains, France

Le Mans debut 2007

Le Mans starts 9

Le Mans best result 3rd (2014)

WEC starts 28

WEC wins 6

ENDS

www.toyota-motorsport.com / www.facebook.com/toyotamotorsport / @Toyota_Hybrid

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