Toyota Racing completed its first long-distance endurance test of the TS030 Hybrid (earlier post) during a three-day session at Paul Ricard in France. In just its second full test, and its third time on track including a roll-out, the TS030 HYBRID tackled a 30-hour endurance run.
Sébastien Buemi, in his first test as an official Toyota Racing driver, started the marathon session, followed by his team-mate in car #8 at Le Mans, Hiroaki Ishiura. Car #7 team-mates Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima also took turns behind the wheel of the Toyota TS030 HYBRID. The test ended with Toyota Racing having achieved its primary goal of completing a significant number of laps to evaluate the car over very long distances.
Toyota Racing will now concentrate on preparing and updated package for the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, its first race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The next tests are scheduled for April.
This was the first time we have run the Toyota HYBRID System - Racing over such a long test session so we never expected a trouble-free week and we did experience a few issues, but nothing major. Thanks to a large amount of data and the detailed feedback of all the drivers, we have a lot of information about how the THS-R powertrain behaves. We have been able to use this already to refine our systems and before the next tests we will work more on some of the issues raised. We have achieved our primary goals for this test and I am happy with how it has gone.—Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader