Toyota Racing has put its new TS030 Hybrid through its toughest test yet, having completed a three-day, 30-hour endurance test ending Friday at the Paul Ricard Hi-Tech Test Track in France.
Of the team's six drivers for Le Mans, five (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Hiroaki Ishiura and Sebastien Buemi) tested, with Anthony Davidson not present at this test. The test marked ex-Toro Rosso racer and current Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver Buemi's first time aboard the prototype.
The team's second full test and third overall started on Thursday afternoon following initial sessions to evaluate various performance developments. The test ended with Toyota able to achieve its primary goal of completing a significant number of laps to evaluate the car on long-distance runs.
“We have done some valuable tests and this has contributed to our ongoing development of performance, reliability and organization,” said Toyota Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon. “The endurance test was an interesting experience; we were expecting challenges for everyone in the team and we weren't disappointed! It's not easy on the car or the people but we are all passionate about this project so a strong team spirit saw us through to the end. We are content with the results and the conclusions we have been able to draw, which will accelerate our preparations for our first race.”
“It was nice to discover more about the endurance racing environment,” Buemi (RIGHT) said. “I have been in the driving simulator at TMG so I had an idea of what to expect but the reality is always a bit more complex. From a technical point of view, the car is very impressive although we still need to make progress in some areas, which is normal at this stage of testing. I did some long stints and learned about new aspects of endurance racing, like driving at night, managing fuel consumption and adapting my driving style. I can see that every detail is important in order to be fast in this discipline.”