TOYOTA Racing to delay season debut

TOYOTA Racing regrets to announce that, as a result of a testing accident, it is not able to participate in the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

During testing at Paul Ricard, on Wednesday 4 April, the TS030 HYBRID was involved in an accident which damaged the team’s only monocoque.

Regrettably this damage is too severe to repair. A replacement monocoque cannot be produced and sufficiently tested to ensure reliability within the limited time available.

Therefore TOYOTA Racing has informed the organizers of the FIA World Endurance Championship of its decision to withdraw from the WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, due to be held on 5 May. The team will make its first appearance at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TOYOTA Racing Team President: “We are deeply saddened to announce this decision and our sympathies are with the drivers, team members and fans who have been anticipating the Spa race so eagerly. Since the accident we have looked into all options but unfortunately there is no alternative course of action open to us.”

TOYOTA Racing will now urgently prepare a new monocoque to allow it to resume testing as soon as possible and prepare itself for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

(image: Toyota Racing)

11 Comments on TOYOTA Racing to delay season debut

  1. In my view it is nothing short of amateuristic from TMG not to have produced more tubs in advance. What did they expect? They’re magically free of crashes?

    Big bummer though. Would’ve loved to see the car in the Ardennes…

  2. No one actually knows how aggressive their development is, the cars already run with all new aero that no one has seen yet, this is a development year and TMG have in-house facilities to test and develop parts without even hitting the track.

  3. Just to add, I guess this means they’ll be at all subsequent rounds, hopefully they’ll up their count to two cars for all rounds, not just Fuji.

  4. Ironically was having a discussion with some other guys about this. They have to have spare tubs this close to the test day, I just doubt they’re race ready. I think the accident points to a fundamental flaw that can’t be fixed in time for Spa. With their lack of meaningful race miles, I hope this doesn’t become ARM-One 2012 edition

  5. Not too long ago teams didn’t race prior to Le Mans, cars like the Audi R8R & R8C, Toyota GT-One, Nissan R390…….oh and Mercedes CLR, debuted at the 24hrs. I think back to the TS030 launch at Ricard, Toyota themselves believe they’ll be the quickest hydrid this year, while Sam Collins of Racecar Engineering has tipped them for victory, saying the car is at the cutting edge of F1 tech and even a step above the R18.

    All will be seen at the test day and 24hrs, I don’t think the TS030 will be lacking in pace, reliability is another question, but that could also effect the R18 e-trons.

  6. They’re afraid!!!

    This just seems like a half hearted effort. It’s clear Hugh DeChaunac is not calling the shots here. He’s probably just there as a consultant.

    They’re already starting to make the same mistakes that whisked them out of F1. There’s a big fundamental problem in the organization of their racing department.

    Oh well…with half of the distance of Sebring here’s hoping the Lola Toyotas, the Dome, and the Hondas can mix it up with the Audis by using clever strategy.

  7. @Bamba,

    That’s way to many assumptions from a single race withdrawal. I wouldn’t be the last to say having just this one tubb ready and running is a bit cheap, but as @JAG so rightly points out, the GT-One never raced before as well. And it very nearly won the 24hrs of Le Mans. Twice…

  8. I’ve read much about Toyota but 99.9% seems to be speculation, I’m not sure if people realise Toyota have been testing hybrid tech since 2008, and put many miles on the Dome S101 & S102.

    From day one they’ve said this year would be for development, others wished for more but Toyota have been consistent, they’re also operating with the latest F1 tech and can do virtually everything in-house, including test & development and sim work.

    If no one was convinced Toyota were serious when ORECA where brought on board, nothing will convince them. Audi maybe formidable opposition, but they’ve been very much on the back foot for the past three years in their battles with Peugeot.

  9. Teams did indeed debut at Le Mans. But Audi has shown the benefits of early season race testing. When Peugeot first produced their 908’s, they skipped Sebring. To paraphrase the Audi comment about their French rivals missing Sebring: ‘Peugeot just lost Le Mans.’

  10. dave henrie|

    In 2007, Audi ran the ALMS, while Peugeot ran the(E)LMS. They were both undefeated in the LMP1 class. The reason Audi won was their program was much longer. This was Peugeot’s first year in LMP, while Audi had been around since 1999.

  11. I remember Mercedes having a long and extensive testprogram for the 1999 Le Mans as well. 40.000km+ …..

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