Sao Paulo Beckons for TOYOTA Racing
TOYOTA Racing travels to the WEC Six Hours of Sao Paulo full of confidence after achieving its first podium finish and fastest lap at Silverstone last month in only the team's second race.
Showing remarkable speed, the #7 TS030 HYBRID fought at the front throughout the race in Great Britain, eventually finishing in a deserved second place after breaking the lap record for LMP1 cars.
Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre will share the #7 TS030 HYBRID for the race at Interlagos, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Kazuki Nakajima misses this event due to Super GT commitments in Japan.
The 4.340km Interlagos circuit is well known to engineers at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), the team's base in Cologne, from previous motorsport engagements and this knowledge strengthens the team's bid for another podium.
Having demonstrated the performance of the TOYOTA HYBRID System — Racing at Silverstone in overtaking the team's main rivals on track, Interlagos presents another opportunity to utilise this unique technology.
Interlagos has five designated hybrid braking zones, where the TS030 HYBRID is permitted to recharge its super capacitors ready to unleash a significant power boost via its DENSO electric motor.
Action at Interlagos begins on Thursday 13 September with two 90-minute practice sessions (11.00 and 15.30). Third practice is on Friday morning (09.45-10.45) before qualifying for LMP1 and LMP2 cars (14.30-14.50). Following Saturday morning's warm-up (08.00-08.20) the six-hour race begins at midday with a rolling start.
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "It was fantastic to fight at the front at Silverstone to achieve a runners-up place and set the fastest lap is a remarkable achievement in only our second race. It was particularly satisfying to have perfect reliability during this race, as this gives us a lot of confidence for the future. Now we want to keep the momentum going in Brazil where we will again face a tough challenge. Once again we want to fight at the front and finish on the podium of course we dream about the top step but we are still early in this project and we have to take it one step at a time."
Alex Wurz, TS030 HYBRID #7: "It's great to be racing again on a regular basis Silverstone was only two weeks ago, now we have Brazil then pretty soon we go to Bahrain. So it feels like our racing season has really started now and I can't wait to get going again at Interlagos. Actually this is the first time for me to drive this circuit in an LMP1 car, but I know it really well from Formula 1 so I am looking forward to the challenge. It's a fast, bumpy circuit which is unusual being anti-clockwise and, with almost 30 cars on the grid, it's going to be a busy afternoon. Hopefully we can quickly find the right direction on set-up and have another exciting race."
Nicolas Lapierre, TS030 HYBRID #7: "Our second place in Silverstone was a great boost for the whole team. Everyone has worked so hard this year so it was both a relief and a joy to stand on the podium. We learnt a lot about our aerodynamic package during the Silverstone weekend and I am sure we can take this knowledge into the Six Hours of Sao Paulo. We know every race this season will be a tough fight so we need to start positively on Thursday then fine-tune the set-up to be ready to attack in the race. We already set ourselves a high standard by leading Le Mans and finishing runners-up at Silverstone in our first two races so our aim is to enjoy more great moments like that."
About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 14 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 38 vehicles taking part. For 2012, TOYOTA returns to endurance racing and the FIA World Endurance Championship as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. The chassis has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 (GT-One) Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family.