New Toyota TS040 HYBRIDs take 1st and 2nd at Six Hours of Silverstone in UK; new Porsche 919 Hybrid takes 3rd
Toyota Racing scored a one-two finish (#8 taking first, #7 second) from pole position in the Six Hours of Silverstone with its new TS040 HYBRIDs (earlier post) in a the first race of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season. Porsche’s new 919 Hybrid with two energy recovery systems (earlier post) posted a third its in its first race.
Track conditions varied from completely dry to torrential rain, which ultimately saw the race red flagged less than 30 minutes before the checkered flag. Rain initially came around the 40-minute mark. Both Toyota cars pitted for new tires, the #7 taking wets and the #8 taking hybrid intermediates. With the rain soon easing, hybrid intermediate tires proved the most effective.
|Toyota’s #8 in front of Porsche’s #20. Click to enlarge.|
Heavy rain hit the track with just over an hour remaining and the team responded by calling both cars in for wet tires.
The safety car was deployed with 40 minutes left before the race was ended early, with further running impossible in the wet conditions. That confirmed TOYOTA Racing’s sixth win from 15 WEC races, its second consecutive victory following its triumph in the 2013 season finale in Bahrain.
Toyota first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. TOYOTA cars have raced in 15 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on four occasions (1992, 1994, 1999 & 2013).
TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, as Toyota Racing, with its first hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. That car competed for two seasons, winning five races. It was designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based.
TMG is the former home of Toyota’s World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA’s TS020 Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines motorsport participation with work as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the Toyota family.
Porsche started with with two cars; one had to retire after 1 hour 15 minutes because of a technical problem.
The Porsche 919 Hybrid is equipped with two different energy recovery systems and is the most complex race car the sports car manufacturer has ever built; besides the kinetic energy recovery system (MGU-K) under braking, the 919 Hybrid recuperates thermal exhaust energy (MGU-H) when accelerating. It also serves as the fastest mobile research laboratory for future road cars.
|919 Hybrid pit stop. Click to enlarge.|
The combination of the two energy recovery systems was a step into unknown territory for Porsche and a unique feature in the entire WEC. When the driver recalls the stored energy from the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery packs, an electric motor drives the two front wheels with more than 250 hp. This power adds to the over 500 hp combustion engine (downsizing 2.0 liters V4-cylinder, turbocharged with direct injection) and this way the two systems result in temporary all-wheel drive.
Considering how complex this completely new technology is, it is very positive to have finished the race with one car. The no. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid ran trouble free. We will have to have a long look into the reasons for the retirement of car no. 14.—Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director LMP1
I am really proud. This was a proper comeback to the highest class of endurance racing. Preparation, operation, discipline in the garage and at the wheel of the two Porsche 919 Hybrids have been very good. The race itself was fascinating and this shows me that the new WEC rules work well—despite or even because of the great technical freedom. Three manufacturers, three innovative hybrid systems and exciting competition on the highest level. For me this is motorsport that contributes to road car development.—Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development of Porsche AG