Last month, the black cloud over Toyota Racing’s head reared up again in the form of one of its drivers crashing the TS030 Hybrid at Paul Ricard circuit bad enough to render it useless. This forced Toyota Racing to cancel the T030’s debut at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
It appears as if the black clouds have cleared up again, as Toyota Racing has announced that a new monocoque is complete and testing will resume almost immediately. This also puts the team on pace to hold true to its promise of debuting on June 16th for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
We’ll be honest in saying that we had our doubts that Toyota could get a monocoque built in time to test before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Toyota Racing certainly stepped up to the task and pumped out a replacement vehicle. The issue now is that the monocoque the team is testing was slated to be a spare, and now there is no spare. We’re willing to bet that the brass at TR are telling the drivers to mind their Ps and Qs while testing. According to Toyota’s press release, however, TR will be entering two T030s into 24 Hours of Le Mans, so a second monocoque must be in the works.
With only a little more than a month of testing and tinkering to do, this really leaves Toyota with very little time to really adjust the car and allow the drivers to get a feel for it. Yes, it is the same build as the original TS030, built as with all cars, there is a little variance between each build.
We’re all pulling for Toyota to make a clean return to Le Mans from here on out.
Click past the jump to read Toyota’s press release.
Toyota Racing will return to the track on 4 May with a functionality test of its TS030 HYBRID at the Magny-Cours circuit in France.
Following the accident at Paul Ricard on 4 April, which damaged the monocoque of the first TS030 HYBRID, the team has worked hard to accelerate production of a second car. This will be completed directly before transportation to the one-day functionality test.
A total of seven test days were cancelled in April as a result of the testing accident, giving the team no opportunity to validate the aerodynamic and hybrid system specifications intended for its first race.
So the team had no choice but to miss the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps event, which takes place on 3-5 May.
Toyota Racing’s first race will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 16-17 June, where the team will enter two TS030 HYBRID cars.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “I would like to express my thanks to the staff members at Toyota Motorsport GmbH who have worked so hard to deliver our second monocoque ahead of schedule. Now we have a very intense testing programme to prepare for Le Mans, beginning with an initial functionality test to shakedown our systems.”