LMP1 2017: Meet the Cars

At Mon­za on Fri­day the pre­sen­ta­tion of this season’s new LMP1 cars took place. Over the course of this week­end, Toy­ota, Porsche and all the oth­er WEC teams will be hit­ting the track for the offi­cial test ses­sion for the 2017 sea­son.

Porsche 919 Hybrid
Porsche are once again the defend­ing cham­pi­ons in LMP1. To be able to com­pete against the com­pe­ti­tion from Japan, the Stuttgart based team have com­plete­ly revised the suc­cess­ful Porsche 919 Hybrid. With the new 900hp Le Mans pro­to­types, the reign­ing world cham­pi­ons will be aim­ing for a third Le Mans vic­to­ry in a row and to defend the two World Cham­pi­onship titles for anoth­er year,

Because of the adapt­ed rules, the body work has been reworked, as well as the chas­sis and pow­er unit. “Over­all, the share of the new devel­op­ments for the 2017 sea­son can be esti­mat­ed to be 60 to 70 per­cent of the total vehi­cle,” said team boss Andreas Sei­dl. “The basic con­cept of the 919 Hybrid offers fur­ther scope for opti­miz­ing the details and increas­ing effi­cien­cy. The mono­coque remained the same as in 2016, all oth­er com­po­nents were test­ed for their poten­tial for opti­miza­tion and most of them changed.”

The new Porsche 919 Hybrid (2017)

The new Porsche 919 Hybrid com­plet­ed it’s first kilo­me­ters in test­ing in Spain. The high­er and wider wheel arch­es can be seen in a direct before-and-after com­par­i­son with the suc­cess­ful pre­vi­ous mod­el. Look­ing from the side, you can see the adapt­ed rear air intakes for the cool­ing.

As a result of the reg­u­la­tion of the aero­dy­nam­ic changes, we expect Le Mans to increase the lap times of three to four sec­onds,” Sei­dl said. “To what extent this will be com­pen­sat­ed for by the var­i­ous fur­ther devel­op­ment mea­sures is not yet fore­seen.”

Toy­ota TS050 Hybrid

The Toy­ota Gazoo Rac­ing team also revealed their new car to the pub­lic before the Pro­logue. With the new TS050 hybrid the Japan­ese team will be aim­ing for their first Le Mans win and to retain the world cham­pi­onship they last won in 2014. In order to help their bid for Le Mans suc­cess, Toy­ota will for the first time in LMP1 bring three cars to the endurance clas­sic.

Changes have been made in the fields of aero­dy­nam­ics and per­for­mance. Pas­cal Vas­selon, Tech­ni­cal Direc­tor of Toy­ota Gazoo Rac­ing, said: “Our 2017 TS050 hybrid is a sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ment. The only sin­gle com­po­nent that has not been mod­i­fied is the mono­coque. We were able to show the poten­tial of our car at sev­er­al races in the pre­vi­ous year. But to achieve our big goal, we had to get more out of it. That’s why, in addi­tion to pro­found aero­dy­nam­ic changes, we have added to every area of ​​per­for­mance and weight reduc­tion. “Con­fi­dent­ly, he added,” What hap­pened to us last year at Le Mans was a very painful expe­ri­ence, so we have a spe­cial focus on qual­i­ty con­trol placed. There is no zero risk, so we have to work with­in the giv­en risks, but for this year we have min­i­mized them. The pre-sea­son test runs were quite good in terms of per­for­mance and reli­a­bil­i­ty, so we are con­fi­dent. But we are also clear that we will have a tough com­peti­tor again.”

Apart from the mono­coque, the Toy­ota TS050 Hybrid has been renewed in almost every area. Rob Leu­pen, who is respon­si­ble for the team, is also aware of the chal­lenge in the new sea­son. He said to Toy­ota, “This is an impor­tant sea­son for Toy­ota Gazoo Rac­ing in the WEC and we are ready to face this chal­lenge. The teams at Higashi-Fuji and Cologne worked in tan­dem to improve the TS050 Hybrid in all aspects, and we also pre­pare our­selves for the chal­lenge of using three cars in Spa and Le Mans. ”

Despite Audi’s depar­ture from the WEC, the fight for the world cham­pi­onship is not nec­es­sar­i­ly eas­i­er for Leu­pen: “Our goals are clear: we want to fight at the top, win the Le Mans win and win the world cham­pi­onship. These, of course, are ambi­tious goals when one has to deal with such a leg­endary com­peti­tor and we are of course aware that we have to be in top shape so that we can do it. There is no room for mis­takes or any weak­ness­es. We are not going to be sec­ond, we are rac­ing to win. We take this chal­lenge as a team seri­ous­ly”.

Test pro­log
This week­end will be the first real­is­tic com­par­i­son to see which team has the upper hand, as the pro­logue gives the the oppor­tu­ni­ty for 14 hours of head to head run­ning around the Mon­za cir­cuit in Italy.

Source: Press Mate­r­i­al Toy­ota Gazoo Rac­ing & Porsche
Images: WEC-Mag­a­zin / Presse.Porsche.de / Toyotagazooracing.com