Toyota TS050 Hybrid Racing Car Breaks Record Lap Time at LeMans ... And Then ...

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] LeMans 24 began with Toyota on the poll. The operative term is "Began."

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 17, 2017

    [​IMG]

    Toyota Gazoo Racing began this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours from the pole after Kamui Kobayashi beat the circuit’s all-time lap record during Thursday night’s qualifying session.

    The Toyota TS050 LMP1 Hybrid Race Car posted a time of 3-min 14.791 sec, slicing more than two seconds off the previous record for the track in its current configuration. Driving the No7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, Kamui Kobayashi achieved an average speed of 156.471mph – faster than any other car in the 94-year history of the race.

    It was an all-Toyota front row race start, with the No8 car of Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima lining up in second, thanks to a time set by Nakajima during the last of the three qualifying sessions.
    The rival Porsche team claimed third and fourth places on the grid, with the third Toyota, the No9 car of Nicolas Lapierre, Yuji Kunimoto and José María López will start from fifth after Lapierre posted its quickest time early in the final qualifying session.

    Qualifying results – LMP1 class
    1. No7 - Toyota Gazoo Racing - Kobayashi/Conway/Sarrazin 3min and 14.791sec
    2. No8 - Toyota Gazoo Racing - Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima +2.337sec
    3. No1 - Porsche - Jani/Lotterer/Tandy +2.488sec
    4. No2 - Porsche - Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley +3.276sec
    5. No9 - Toyota Gazoo Racing - Lapierre/Kunimoto/López +3.834sec
    6. No4 - ByKolles - Webb/Kraihamer.Bonanomi +9.379sec
    With that out of the way, the race is 12-hours in and the three Toyota’s have run into gremlins yet again. For those that remember last year, Toyota was leading into the final lap of the 24 Hour classic and broke allowing Porsche to take the win.

    After 10-hours of racing, Toyota’s chances of winning the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is not going to happen.

    The No. 9 Toyota got damage from a piece of debris on Lap 1 and had to pit after its door wedged open in the fourth hour.

    In hour 8, the No. 8 Toyota came into the pits with smoke billowing out of it due to a front motor issue.

    And finally, the No. 7 Toyota while leading the 60-car field for the first 10 hours failed to get going on a restart due to a suspected clutch issue. Kobayashi was driving at the time and unable to bring it home to the pits…

    Another tough go of it for the FIA-WEC OEM Champions that just cannot seem to get out of the way of their Le Mans 24-hours curse. :(
     
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  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Interesting stuff - I had forgotten LeMans was this weekend.

    What are the specs of this generation of Toyota? Where the heck is Audi this year? Are they having to abandon diesel and are not there?
     
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Neil:

    Here is what I could find.

    2017 Toyota TS050 - Technical upgrades and changes for the 2017 Racing Season

    The 2017 car is powered by a turbocharged 2.4L V6 with an 8MJ hybrid system. Significant work at Higashi-Fuji has produced a new engine that achieves optimal thermal efficiency through a higher compression ratio. This has been achieved by developing the combustion chamber, cylinder block and cylinder head.

    The hybrid system has also been improved. Motor generator units (MGU) have been reduced in size and weight and there has been further development of the high-power Li-Ion battery. The advances that have been made will also directly benefit Toyota’s customers, as technical know-how gained by powertrain engineers will be applied to creating ever-better road cars.

    [​IMG]

    The wide-ranging updates to the TS050 are completed by changes to almost every part of the chassis.

    New championship regulations for 2017 target a reduction in aerodynamic efficiency, a change that should increase the lap time at Le Mans by several seconds, for safety reasons. The requirements have been met by raising the front splitter by 15mm and reducing the width of the rear diffuser. Toyota Gazoo Racing have used computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing to modify the car’s aerodynamic concept, producing a design with a raised nose and a sharp undercut to the sidepods.

    The new rules limit teams to two aerodynamic configurations per season, down from three in 2016. The car shown is in low-downforce form. Tire use has also been restricted with a limit of four sets per car plus two spares, for qualifying and six-hour races. Toyota Gazoo Racing have worked with supplier Michelin to meet this challenge, with new compounds and constructions and changes to the suspension geometry to limit tire wear.

    The new TS050 Hybrid has already covered more than 18,000 miles in five test sessions this year, including two 30-hour endurance runs.

    Wayne
     
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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    The Agony of Yet Another Defeat at Le Mans

    After taking the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship opener with a thrilling victory at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and a first and second place finish at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, it was time for Le Mans.

    Running the higher top speed, lower downforce configured TS050 at this year’s Le Mans 24-Hours Classis, Toyota endured another painful experience at the world’s most notable race circuit.

    As the checkered flag fell, just one of the three TS050 Hybrid cars were still running, finishing in ninth place.

    [​IMG]
    Yesterday’s finish at Le Mans.​

    The No7 car of Mike Conway, Kami Kobayashi and Stéphane Sarrazin lead from pole position for the first 10 hours, only to be forced into retirement by a clutch problem.

    The No8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima were also in contention for victory for almost eight hours until an issue with the front motor required a two-hour stop in the pits. Nonetheless, the car rejoined the fray, coming home ninth and second in the LMP1 class, with Buemi setting fastest lap of the race.


    The No9 machine of Nicolas Lapierre, Yuji Kunimoto and José María López was struck from behind by an LMP2 car, causing a puncture and damaging the hydraulics. As a result, the driver could not make gear shifts and the car was retired by the side of the track at 1.35 AM just a few hundred meters from the pits.


    The results also proved costly in terms of Toyota Racing’s campaign in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. Le Mans, the third round of the series, offered double points, so Porsche’s victory has given the team a 36.5-point lead in both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title races.

    Work will now start on understanding the issues encountered during the race and preparing the team for the next round of the WEC, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring in mid-July.

    Le Mans 24 Hours results:

    1st - No2 Porsche (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) 367 laps
    2nd - No38 Jackie Chan DC (Tung/Laurent/Jarvis) +1 lap
    3rd - No13 Rebellion (Piquet/Heinemeier Hansson/Beche) +3 laps
    4th - No37 Jackie Chan DC (Cheng/Gommendy/Brundle) +4 laps
    5th - No35 Alpine (Panciatici/Ragues/Negrao) +5 laps
    6th - No32 United Autosports (Owen/De Sadeleer/Albuquerque) +5 laps
    .
    .
    9th - No8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima) +9 laps

    Wayne
     
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  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    So, Toyota made a lot of significant changes - they were using a normally aspirated V8 and only a 4MJ (I think, or maybe just 2MJ?) in 2015. I thought they stayed with that last year, but apparently they used a turbo V6 last year.

    Porsche is using a turbo V4 and an 8MJ electric since they returned to LMP1.
     
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