False Start: Toyota Hybrid Le Mans Racer Crashed, Will Miss First Race

You may recall that Toyota Racing planned to debut a hybrid Le Mans racer this year, called the TS030 Hybrid. Unfortunately, the car was damaged in a crash and won’t be able to participate in its debut race.

The TS030 was scheduled to make its competition debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, after which it would enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16. However, during testing at the Paul Ricard circuit yesterday, the hybrid race car had an accident that extensively damaged its carbon-fiber composite monocoque — of which there are no spares. Toyota cannot repair the damage, and won’t be able to build and test another monocoque in time for the Spa-Francorchamps race.

“We are deeply saddened to announce this decision,” Toyota Racing team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said in a statement. “Since the accident, we have looked into all options but unfortunately there is no alternative course of action open to us.”

Toyota Racing will now work feverishly to prepare a new monocoque in time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in June. The TS030 has a 3.4-liter V-8 engine attached to a six-speed sequential transmission, along with a pair of electric motor/generators that can store energy under braking and use it to supplement the gas engine under acceleration. Toyota calls the powertrain the “Toyota Hybrid System – Racing”, or THS-R.

Source: Toyota Racing

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