Toyota has revealed the revised version of the TS030 HYBRID that it hopes will carry it to success in the 2013 World Endurance Championship this season.
Ahead of fresh regulations coming into force for the 2014 season, the manufacturer has worked to improve the car that it debuted last season, with a series of revisions taking place as it prepares to do battle with Audi during the season ahead.
Work has taken place to improve the bybrid powertrain, while the monocoque has been updated and a revised aerodynamic package put together that will minmise the impact that an increased minimum weight for manufacturer LMP1 entries will have.
“There is a major regulation change in 2014 so this year's car has to be an evolution of our initial concept,” technical director Pascal Vasselon said. “The obvious target is to fix all the little issues we have found during the last season. The very first one is that the 2012 car, being a laboratory car, was able to accept front and rear hybrid systems, so we have redesigned the monocoque to optimize it without the front motor.
“Last year's performance was very satisfying and we felt we ticked most boxes so there has been no concept change, just refinement and optimization of the 2012 car.”
Toyota impressed many with its performances when the TS030 made its debut last year and team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said it was a realistic aim to target success in both the WEC and the Le Mans 24 Hours
during the season ahead.
“I am very excited by the new season and I cannot wait for it to start,” he said. “We achieved more than we expected in 2012 but this only motivates us to push harder and enjoy more success. I am eager to see how the updated TS030 HYBRID performs in race conditions and it's normal to also be a little tense before a season starts. We are competing against very tough opposition and we knew from the start of this project that we have to perform at our top level to achieve our goals. We believe we have made strong progress with the car but we will not know if it is enough until the chequered flag falls at Le Mans. My dream is to see a TS030 HYBRID crossing the line first.
“We took three out of six WEC races in 2012, and led Le Mans as well, so we showed not only potential, but solid results too. As a team we made big progress last year; we are still developing as a team but we can be proud of our hard work and fast learning. I believe it is realistic to target both titles but it will certainly not be easy; clearly we face an extremely strong competitor. It is a big challenge to become number one. We have huge respect for Audi's achievements and abilities, so we expect an exciting competition in WEC this year.”
Toyota will field an unchanged driver line-up for 2013 as it fields both of its cars away from Le Mans for the first time – having focused on a single car during its WEC outings in 2012.
Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima team up again in the #7 TS030 HYBRID, while the #8 will be shared by Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin, and Sébastien Buemi.