GALLERY – A look behind the scenes at Toyota’s LeMan History
Toyota last week released there latest LeMans car, the TS040 Hybrid, the car which will take the team into the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship and a new era of hybrid powered motorsport.
The new car represents the most advanced hybrid technology in modern racing. Its competition debut will be at the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone race on 20 April.
Toyota will be taking on rival manufacturers Audi and Porsche with a car that benefits from 480PS (473bhp/353kW) of all-wheel drive hybrid boost in addition to the 520PS (513bhp/383kW) produced by its 3.7-litre V8 petrol engine, taking maximum power to 1,000PS (986bhp/736kW).
As a result of this launch Toyota has taken a look back and released images of their classic and legendary Le Mans challengers inside the Toyota Motorsport GmbH museum.
Enjoy the massive gallery below after the jump.
The Toyota TS010 was developed in association with TOM’S ahead of the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours. The #36 car in our gallery was taken to a fourth-place finish by Eddie Irvine, Toshio Suzuki and Masanori Sekiya.
The Toyota TS020, also known as the GT-One, is now a Le Mans icon, having competed in the 1998 and 1999 editions of the 24-hour endurance race. Thierry Boutsen, Ralf Kelleners and Geoff Lee came close to winning the 1998 race in this #29 car, but suffered a gearbox failure that put them out of the race.
The ZENT-liveried car was driven by Martin Brundle, Emmanuel Collard and Vincenzo Sospiri at Le Mans in 1999. Brundle was chasing down the leaders near midnight when he was forced to retire from the race following a puncture. — at Toyota Motorsport.
One of the quirks of the GT1 class that the TS020 competed in in 1998 was that a small number of production cars had to be made to meet the rules. Engineers at Toyota Motorsport GmbH created just two ‘production’ TS020 GT-Ones – one is on display in its museum, the other in Japan.
The 2012-spec TS030 Hybrid was driven to a trio of WEC wins by Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima.