TOYOTA Racing2012 season
TOYOTA Racing Commits to the WEC Series with the Innovative Racing Hybrid Component
TOYOTA Racing had spent six years to develop the more efficient and powerful racing hybrid component, and finally made its debut in the WEC series in 2012.
Although winning races is a natural objective for TOYOTA, there are more fundamental and prospective aims laid down underneath; that is the ultimate optimization of the hybrid technology leading to the production car development.
Not only the fuel economy but the space efficiency of the cabin would improve, if the current hybrid system became smaller and lighter.
If the battery charging/releasing process could be quicker, the sporty acceleration that only electric motors can generate, would become available at a higher level.
TOYOTA would never be satisfied with the current hybrid technology, and is always in pursuit of the compatibility between the practicality and 'FUN TO DRIVE' at the highest possible level. For this particular purpose, TOYOTA decided to participate in the WEC series, especially in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
2012 Season Review
TOYOTA Racing's achievement
in the WEC debut year
3 Wins, 2 Pole Positions
In 2012, TOYOTA Racing had chosen the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to make a comeback to the centre stage of the global motorsport. The former TOYOTA F1 team operator TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) designed and built the chassis of TS030 HYBRID while Higashi-Fuji Technical Center fine-tuned its powertrain. TOYOTA Racing conducted full test of TS030 HYBRID at Paul Ricard circuit in southern France to set to work on its debut in June.
In January 2012, TOYOTA Racing launched its development tests for TS030 HYBRID at Circuit Paul Ricard.
TS030 HYBRID was TOYOTA's first endurance prototype in a long while, and also it would become their first hybrid car to be entered in major racing category. Although there was a lot of demanding challenges to overcome, TOYOTA Racing made its 2 cars successfully debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the 3rd round of WEC 2012).
TS030 HYBRID's first official appearance was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although both TS030 HYBRID race cars were unable to finish, they showed high enough potential by having the lead for a time.
TOYOTA Racing's attempt at a big challenge in the debut race ended up a bitter defeat as both cars failed to make the finish with one in an unfortunate big shunt. But their misfortune was only momentary; it was quite intriguing that TS030 HYBRID claimed the first ever podium (2nd) in the following round of the 6 Hours of Silverstone. They then sharpened their edge and notched up the first pole position as well as the maiden victory at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo (Rd.5). TS030 HYBRID achieved the triumph in only the 3rd race after its debut. It was a great significance for TOYOTA Racing to quickly catch up and threaten Audi's dominance in this category for 14 years.
TOYOTA Racing clinched its first overall victory in only third race with TS030 HYBRID at Sao Paulo 6 Hours.
With back-to-back wins at Fuji 6 Hours (Round 7) and Shanghai 6 Hours (the season finale), TOYOTA Racing rounded off the season. In the impressive debut year in the WEC, which included 3 victories and 2 pole positions in just 6 races, they did really well for the first try. This great achievement is a precious asset resulting from the tremendous resources of TMG's chassis development and the new challenge towards the hybrid racing technology. In 2013 as their 2nd season, the team returns with an ambition to win both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC title.
TOYOTA Racing made a clean sweep in the last 2 races: one in Fuji as a home victory and another in Shanghai. The TOYOTA squad ended up a tie with Audi at 3-3 over six races.