Toyota completed on Friday its first full test with the new TS030 Hybrid car that will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year.
The Japanese manufacturer, which will race in selected events of the FIA World Endurance Championship, wrapped up a three-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Toyota had also carried out a three-day shakedown at the track earlier this month.
Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima shared testing duties for the team, which worked on optimizing aerodynamic and mechanical setup as well as carrying out Michelin tire testing. The car covered over 1,200 miles and, according to Toyota, "demonstrated a satisfying level of performance and reliability."
"Although we are a little behind schedule in terms of total mileage we have made very good use of our track time," said technical director Pascal Vasselon. "It's important at this stage to give a first indication to our tire partner Michelin about the development direction needed for the Toyota TS030 Hybrid, and this has been done together with other performance developments.
"At the same time, the pace is increasing as our drivers explore closer to the boundaries of the performance envelope of our package. We see clearly an acceleration of our development rate based on their indications. This gives a lot of push and dynamic to our track operation; it's an exciting time to be a Toyota Racing engineer."
Wurz added: "Obviously, it's nice to be back in the car. We are continuously evaluating and improving, so I am happy with these three days. We are working hard and making good progress since the roll out. During this test I have worked on the setup, drivability and traction control; we are just beginning to work on tire evaluations.
"Of course, I am enjoying this chance to drive the Toyota TS030 Hybrid. More and more we test, more and more we find things to improve: that's positive. We realize we have to work hard because you have to work on the details; I am a perfectionist."
The car's next test is planned for mid-February.