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Toyota Racing hybrids make successful Le Mans debut

Toyota Racing’s pair of TS030 Hybrid cars (earlier post) achieved another milestone by successfully participating in the traditional test day on Sunday to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June.

For the first time, Toyota Racing had two cars in action, having completed all testing so far with only the #7 car. A brief shakedown for the #8 car on Friday capped a huge effort from the team at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) to complete the car in time for the test.

The complete driver line-up for car #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima took part in the test while the #8 featured Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi.

Stéphane Sarrazin missed the activities to give him additional time to recover from cuts and bruises sustained in a cycling accident. Stéphane will return to driving duties for Toyota Racing for the Le Mans race week.

Today was a significant step for us because it was our first chance to see the car on track against our opposition at Le Mans. It’s hard to judge lap times but it certainly strengthens our racing spirit. Overall we are satisfied to complete a full day’s running with both cars without any significant issue; the only interruptions came with some minor bodywork damage.

—Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President

To see the Toyota Hybrid System racing on track at Le Mans is a day we have been anticipating for a long time. We are continuously adjusting and improving the system, so each test day brings a step forward and that was true again today. The combination of downshifting, braking and charging is really working in harmony; it’s like an elaborate dance. I would like to express my thanks to all the guys at Cologne and Higashifuji who have worked so hard to prepare for this.

—Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader



Suppose a Prius offspring won Le Mans.


Suppose the technology of a Le Mans-winning hybrid hit the showroom.

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