1992 Toyota TS010 Group C Sports Car

25 June 2004

As the profile and public awareness of endurance sports car racing developed through the 1980s, Toyota paid particular attention to the Group C category. This placed the emphasis on matching high performance with fuel efficiency. The early cars, developed by teams such TOM’S and Dome, used evolutions of the Celica Turbo road car engine and then, from 1988, a purpose-designed V8.

In 1990, the TOM’S-Toyota team of Masanori Sekiya, Hitoshi Ogawa and Geoff Lees claimed sixth place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team’s best result in the event so far. However, plans were already under way to create some of the most spectacular machines ever to race at Le Mans. From 1991, the FIA Group C category permitted the entry of high-tech sports cars with Formula 1-style 3.5-litre V10 engines; the new Toyota TS010 was built to take full advantage of the new rules.

Toyota was destined never to claim its much-sought victory at Le Mans, but the TS010 was without doubt one of the fastest cars on the track, setting the race lap record in both 1992 and 1993.

The car which came closest to victory, taking second place in 1992, was driven by Masanori Sekiya, Pierre-Henri Raphanel and Kenny Acheson. Masanori Sekiya will be piloting it again at Goodwood this year.

Sekiya is known around the world for his long and distinguished Le Mans career. In all, he competed in the 24-hour race 12 times between 1985 and 2001. In 1987 his appearance was all the more notable as he was married on the eve of the race at Le Mans Town Hall. In 1995 he was in the team which gave the McLaren F1 its maiden victory, driving alongside JJ Lehto and Yannick Dalmas.

TOYOTA TS010 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Engine

Toyota RV10

Type

72° V10, 5 valves per cylinder

Displacement

3,500 cc

Maximum output

c700 bhp (sprint), c600 bhp (Le Mans)

Transmission

6-speed manual

Chassis

Carbon fibre monocoque

Tyres

Goodyear 17 and 18-inch

Electronics

Denso

Wheelbase

2,750 mm

Length

4,800 mm

Width

2,000 mm

Height

1,030 mm

Maximum speed

215 mph (Le Mans)

ENDS

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1992 Toyota TS010 Group C Sports Car

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