Published August 21, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Toyota Racing’s TS030 HYBRID will make its UK racing debut in the WEC Six Hours of Silverstone this weekend, ready to take Toyota hybrid power to the podium in the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The team will be looking to build on the car’s strong performance at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, where it led the race on its maiden outing. There was to be no glory on that occasion, however, as an accident and technical issues saw both Toyotas sidelined.
The Hybrid race car is powered by a 3.4 liter 90° V8 normally aspirated engine, coupled to a transversal six gear sequential gearbox. Power is supplemented by a front AW Aisin electric motor and a rear Denso electric motor. No specs have been given on these electric motors for competitive reasons.
At Silverstone, the team will field just one car; the No 7 driven by Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. Their team-mate Anthony Davidson, who is recovering well after his Le Mans accident, will be lending them his support over the weekend too.
Alex and Nicolas prepared for the race with a two-day testing session (August 14-15) at Motor Land Aragon in Spain, where a revised aerodynamic package was put through its paces.
Simulation technology and the state-of-the-art wind tunnels at the Toyota Motorsport’s base in Cologne, Germany, have been used to hone the car’s aerodynamics to better suit Silverstone’s 3.66-mile Grand Prix circuit, generating more downforce compared to the Le Mans specification.
The drivers also fine-tuned the TS030 HYBRID’s handling with sessions in TMG’s driving simulator, which accurately recreates car behavior and the specific character and demands of the Silverstone track.
There will be four designated braking zones at Silverstone where the TS030 HYBRID will be able to recover up to 500Kj of energy, to be stored in Nisshinbo super capacitors for automatic release as a power boost later in the lap.
Action at Silverstone begins on Friday with two 90-minute practice sessions (11:30 and 16:00). Final practice is on Saturday morning (11-12) before qualifying for LMP1 and LMP2 cars (15.20-15.40). Following Sunday morning warm-up (08:55-09:15) the six-hour race begins at midday with a rolling start.