Toyota sends warning signal to WEC

posted in: Homepage, LMP1, Team, WEC | 1

Toy­ota has warned that it may not be pre­pared to con­tin­ue rac­ing in the FIA World Endurance Cham­pi­onship if the new rule­set, due in time for the 2020 sea­son, is toned down in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ment. The news comes after lead­ing fig­ures at French man­u­fac­tur­er Peu­geot have pub­licly called for costs to be cut, and there­fore tech­ni­cal devel­op­ment cur­tailed, as a con­di­tion for their return to sports­car rac­ing.

Since its launch in 2012 – brought for­ward by the sud­den depar­ture of Peu­geot from the sports­car rac­ing scene just before the WEC’s inau­gur­al sea­son – the Toy­ota LMP1 pro­gramme has devel­oped from a pre­car­i­ous­ly fund­ed project con­stant­ly under review from Toy­ota HQ to one of the cor­ner­stones of the Japan­ese manufacturer’s research and devel­op­ment activ­i­ties.

It wasn’t until 2014, Toyota’s world man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship title sea­son, that the Cologne-based team ran two cars for the full sea­son. 2017 will see the team make a fur­ther step up, con­firm­ing a three-car effort for the 6 Hours of Spa-Fran­cor­champs and the 24 Hours of Le Mans and two full-sea­son entries.

This year’s TS050 is the third iter­a­tion of the Toy­ota pro­to­type con­cept and has always estab­lished a con­sis­tent line of devel­op­ment between the hybrid tech­nol­o­gy in the LMP1 and the hybrid sys­tems built into its road-going mod­els.

The main rea­son for Toy­ota to par­tic­i­pate in the WEC is to devel­op tech­nol­o­gy and specif­i­cal­ly hybrid tech­nol­o­gy, so it would be near­ly impos­si­ble for Toy­ota to accept a step back­wards,” Toy­ota Motor­sport GmbH’s team direc­tor Pas­cal Vas­selon told “Devel­op­ing hybrid tech­nol­o­gy is the rai­son d’etre of the pro­gramme.”

With Peu­geot and per­haps oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers flirt­ing with a return to Le Mans and the world sports­car scene, the FIA will have a great many things to con­sid­er when it comes to shap­ing the 2020 rule­book.

Image © WEC-Mag­a­zin

  1. John Austin

    Porsche will always be bet­ter