Valiant effort by the Toytoa Racing upstarts who did not race the entire series yet still reached the “Drivers Championship” podium!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 28, 2012
From the pole, the Toyota TS030 Supercap Hybrid lead from beginning to end only falling behind during its pit for tires and fuel. Soon afterwards, it would regain the lead when the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s had to do the same.
If you were not following the action last night and early this morning in our Showdown in Shanghai: Audi’s AWD Diesel Hybrid vs. Toyota’s Super Hybrid
preview, you missed not only the Live racing action but Motorsport history in the making. Until I was too tired to continue that is
Once completed, Toyota claimed its second consecutive win with a pole to flag victory at the Six Hours of Shanghai, the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
After taking the win at Fuji
just two week ago, the #7 TS030 HYBRID of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre started from pole position and finished on top with a 58.570 sec lead over the Audi’s hybrid turbo diesel contingent consisting of the #2 R18 e-tron quattro driven by Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen. In third was #1 car R18 e-tron quattro driven by André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler 1 min - 42.814 seconds back while still holding to finish on the lead lap.
Even though Audi did not take this by crossing the line in third place, André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler scored enough points to capture the World Drivers’ Championship, a first for this new FIA WEC championship catagory. The trio made history in June by becoming the first hybrid powered car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and followed with two additional outright wins at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and 6 Hours of Bahrain.
Toyota Racing’s Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre earned enough points while participating in just 6 of 8 FIA WEC races to take third place in the Drivers Championship category.
Nicolas Lapierre lifting Alex Wurz up as the pair completed the 2012 Season with a decisive trip to victory lane for themselves and Toyota Racing.
As I watched the race on Audi Live early this morning, interviews with the Audi team drivers between stints revealed the foreboding nature of FIA WEC racing for 2013 as both Audi team drivers were concerned with their R18’s e-tron quattro’s inability to keep pace with the hyper quick Toyota even though their diesel fuel efficiency would see them pit one time less than the gasoline hybrid electric Toyota.
As discussed two weeks back, Audi with 5 of 8 outright wins and the consistency of its #1 and #2 car took the LMP1 Manufacturers’ World Championship title by the time the race at Sao Paulo was complete.
The No.7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid’s victory in China was its third this season providing a remarkable debut for the feisty Japanese Giant. In just six races they took the checkered three times, and raised the bar in terms of out and out performance with four fastest laps highlighting the capability of their TS030 Hybrid race car.
The hybrid system, using unique super capacitor energy storage technology, is charged in four designated hybrid recovery zones at the Shanghai International Circuit before delivering its maximum short term 300 HP boost to the rear wheels.
Today’s win also marks the first time a TOYOTA team has recorded consecutive victories in an FIA World Championship event since 1994, in the World Rally Championship.
Nicolas was at the wheel for the start and led into turn one before stretching his advantage with a clear track ahead consistently pulling away by upwards of 2-seconds per lap in his double stint.
He handed over a half-minute lead to Alex who kept up the relentless speed, maintaining the strategy of fitting new tires at each stop to maximize the TS030 HYBRIDs pace.
Through the back half of the race, both drivers completed double stints each, with Alex crossing the finish line to secure victory for Toyota Racing in its very first season of FIA WEC competition.
What a season in which the Toyota team began with Fits and Starts and learning quickly how to best the Audi drivers with newfound techniques, tweaks, adjustments and out and out determination to prove better competitors from race to race. In addition, the TS030 was designed to be either a RWD or AWD car including the unused front differentials and drive shafts. Next year’s Toyota Hybrid Race car may look the same up top but underneath, it is all but guaranteed to be even faster.
Audi does indeed have its work cut out for itself during off season to somehow obtain the blistering corner to corner acceleration the Toyota TS030 provided while continuing to maintain their higher top end. This year’s season finale only opened up the for more questions in next year’s quest for the title.
Toyota Racing’s TS030 Supercap Hybrid in the lead at the 6 Hours of Shanghais.
Congrats to Both Toyota Racing and Team Audio for a spectacular season. We’ll catch up again in just 167 days for the start of the 2013 FIA WEC season beginning at Silverstone in the UK.
Some of the coverage of this year’s 2012 FIA WEC.