Toyota’s road racing days pretty much grounded to a halt when corporate headquarters pulled the automaker from the F1 program after the 2009 racing season. Since 2009, Toyota Motor Company has shown improvements, as buyers began returning after the car-buying slump ended and the safety issues that plagued the automaker were rectified. This allowed Toyota to start to experiment with road racing again and develop the TS030 Hybrid.
The TS030 Hybrid had its debut race set for the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5th, 2012. Things were looking good for the 3.4-liter V-8-powered TS030 Hybrid until its most recent test run. An undisclosed driver was testing out the TS030 at Paul Ricard and must have had a fairly horrific crash, as Toyota Racing Team President announced that the team could not build a new monocoque – chassis for those that don’t speak race-a-nese – in time for the May 5th debut.
Most people would think “Why not just use a second body; they all have spares, right?" Well, when you are easing your toes back into the racing pool, like Toyota is, you can’t really afford to go blowing millions of dollars building and testing multiple cars. In the future, yes, they will have multiple monocoques, but for now there was only one.
According to the press release, a new monocoque will be ready in time for the June running at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A few things come to mind here. First off, was Toyota planning on arriving at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with only one monocoque? Secondly, how much of a bum does the driver that thrashed their only vehicle feel right about now? Maybe that’s why they kept wraps on which driver it was that wrecked it.
Well, here’s to a speedy rebuild, Toyota, and we hope to see you in June, sans the black cloud floating over your head.
Hit the jump for the official presser from Toyota Racing and a cool video of the TS030 testing.
Toyota’s abrupt departure from Formula One has left a lot of people in stunned disbelief, especially when you consider that the supposed 2010 car was already completed well before the 2009 season ended.
Now that Toyota’s out, the question is what becomes of their 2010 car - and their whole design technology for that matter?
Well, they’re not putting it to waste, that’s what. According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, the Toyota F1 Team now has plans of selling off the data and designs of the car, preferably to one of the new teams that are set to make their debuts next year.
Out of the four teams – Lotus, Capos, Manor and USF1 - that are scheduled to have their inaugural race in Formula One in 2010, the two most logical teams to buy Toyota’s designs are Manor and USF1.
We don’t know exactly as to how much Toyota is selling their F1 technology, but we’re pretty sure that it’s going to come up for bid pretty soon between any of these new teams.
The obscene budget that Toyota has shelled out for its F1 division has finally caught up with them and combine that with the fact that the company is now re-directing its attention towards its core road car business prompted the Japanese auto giants to pull out of Formula One.
After last week’s update leading up to the European Grand Prix, Panasonic Toyota Racing’s Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock are back preparing for round twelve of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix, that will take place on the historic Spa racing circuit this coming Sunday, August 30th. Trulli truly adores Spa not only because of his 2004 pole position, but also for its mix of sharp twists and long straights as well as significant elevation changes as well as the unique combination of low, high and medium speed corners.
The team’s test driver, Kamui Kobayashi then joins the two grand prix stars to continue their question and answer session where we learn that Jarno is not only the best soccer player of the three, but he is also the team’s “love doctor” and like any group of friends that are being exposed to a foreign language, they were quick to pick up the dirty words from the Japanese test driver first. Check you local listings to see when you can see the boys of F1 compete at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
Panasonic Toyota Racing officially kicked off its 2006 Formula 1 campaign with a special event at the Toyota manufacturing facility in Valenciennes, France earlier this month, at the same time as disclosing an unprecedented amount of information about the Toyota production process and how it has been applied to the former art, and now decidedly scientific process of Formula (...)