Toyota is turning heads with their hybrid racecars.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off in two weeks' time and Toyota is hard at work preparing two TS030 Hybrid racecars for the famed French event. Wearing a hybrid-blue livery, the hybrid racers looked great on the track and should give chief rivals Audi a run for their money when they meet during the race. The TS030 Hybrid racers feature a 3.4-liter V8 gasoline engine mated with a capacitor-based hybrid drivetrain. Power is delivered to the rear wheels while energy recovery tech also contributes to the racer's motivation.
"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," said Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President. "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." The Toyota Motorsports #7 car was piloted by Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima ran 83 laps while the #8 car, piloted by Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, finished only 73 laps.
The Toyota's best time was only 1.3 seconds off the pace of the fastest Audi (also a hybrid but with a diesel plant instead of the Toyota's aforementioned gas plant), the current kings of endurance racing. Keep an eye out for the Toyota TS030 Hybrid racer as it goes for first in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans race, running on June 16th-17th.