Toyota's 2017 TS050 Revealed at Monza
“Our priority this season is to win the Le Mans 24 Hours but we want too to be a part of good competitive racing across the FIA WEC.” - Toshio Sato, Team President
Toyota today unveiled the 2017 generation of the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car. The car has a 2.4 litre V6 Turbo charged petrol engine combined with a 8MJ hybrid system.
“Our 2017 TS050 Hybrid represents a significant update over the 2016 car. The only item which is not changed is the monocoque. At several races last year we showed the potential of our car with strong performances. But to achieve our targets we need more, so as well as big aerodynamic changes, we have optimised each year for performance and weight. What happened at Le Mans last year was painful so we gave extra attention to quality management. Zero risk doesn’t exist so we operate according to a given level of risk, which this year we have reduced. Pre-season testing has gone well in terms of performance and reliability so we feel positive but we also know we face a tough competitor” said Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director of Toyota Gazoo Racing.
The cars hybrid system has been upgraded for the 2017 regulations. The Motor Generator Units (MGU) have been reduced in size and weight whilst the lithium ion battery has been further developed and performance optimised. The 2017 aerodynamics have been changed inline with the new WEC regulations. The front splitter has been raised 15mm with a narrower rear defuser introduced. The extensive work by Toyota in the wind tunnels has resulted in a substantially modified front nose with distinctive changes to the side pod airflow channels. Sources within Toyota confirm that the TS050 Hybrid has already completed over 30,000KM of testing, five tests at Paul Ricard, Motorland Aragon and Portimao, four of which ran for 30 hours.
The 2017 driver line up sees Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez partner up in the #7 car for the full season whilst Sebasiten Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima will drive the #8 car for the 2017 season. Toyota will field a third car at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Stephane Sarrazin joined in the car by Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre. “Although the TS050 Hybrid shares the same name as the 2016 car, its performance has been greatly improved by reviewing the powertrain and enhancing efficiency in all areas,” concluded Histake Murata, Racing Hybrid Project Leader. “Toyota Gazoo Racing’s biggest goal for this year, as always, is winning Le Mans. The team in Higashi-Fuji has worked ceaselessly since Le Mans last year to develop a powertrain which will deliver performance over one lap and over a full race distance, enabling us to compete at the front. “This has resulted in a new engine, plus modifications to the motor generator units and battery. The first results are very encouraging but we will continue to fine-tune so we are ready.”
The Porsche 2017 919 Hybrid Revealed
Porsche today revealed the 2017 edition of the 919 Hybrid. The car is based upon the same carbon fibre monocoque chassis which took the World Championship in 2016. Much like Toyota however, much of the car has changed with estimates suggesting around 70% of the car has been newly developed inline with the 2017 regulations. The 2017 car has been extensively developed in line with new aerodynamic regulations, the chassis and combustion engine. Team Principal and Acting Technical Director says “For 2017 Season, 60-70% of the vehicle is newly developed. The basic concept of the 919 Hybrid still offers scope to optimise the finer details and further boosts efficiency. The monocoque has remained unchanged since 2016, but the optimisation potential of all other components was analysed and, in most cases, adjustments made accordingly.”
“Limiting teams to two aerodynamics packages per season is a sensible cost-control measure. In 2016, the front end of the vehicle was accumulating small amounts of abraded rubber from the track surface. This rubber built up and upset the balance of the vehicle. We analysed this phenomenon and optimised the relevant bodywork components. A key focus for the engineers was to design the front end of the vehicle to be less aerodynamically sensitive. When comparing a front view of this year’s 919 to the previous year’s model, the higher, wider and longer wheel arches immediately catch the eye. To the side, the new channel from the monocoque to the wheel arch is visible, along with the redesigned rear air intakes for the radiators. As a result of the aerodynamic losses we will incur due to the new regulations, we are expecting to see a three to four-second increase in lap times at Le Mans,” explains Seidl. “We will have to wait and see how well the various enhancements we have made will compensate for these losses.”
The #1 Porsche will be manned by reigning world champion Neel Jani, former Audi driver Andre Lotterer and 2015 Le Mans 24 Hour winner Nick Tandy. Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard will pilot the #2 car for the upcoming season.