Austin WEC: Toyota baffled by 'biggest performance gap' to Porsche

Toyota remains mystified by the giant performance deficit to Porsche during qualifying for this weekend's Austin round of the World Endurance Championship

Austin WEC: Toyota baffled by 'biggest performance gap' to Porsche

The Japanese manufacturer described the gap to Porsche "as the biggest of the season" after the fastest lap from a Toyota TS050 HYBRID fell nine tenths short of the 1m44.741s aggregate best time set by the pole-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid.

Toyota Motorsport technical director Pascal Vasselon described the team's performance as "really bad", though he stressed that the gap to the Porsches had been exacerbated by a number of factors.

"We are chasing four of five tenths, which is the biggest gap we have had in qualifying this year," Vasselon told Autosport.

"We are not happy, but there is no clear explanation at the moment.

"It is difficult to have a clear view of what the problem is, but we are not giving up - we will review all the performance factors."

Toyota had expected to be closer to Porsche after an encouraging run in the final free practice on Friday morning.

Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest time of free practice on a qualifying simulation in the #7 Toyota, but only found a further two tenths during the official session whereas the Porsches gained more than a second.

The two Toyotas then ended up 1.6s and 2.3s behind pole winners on aggregate.

Sebastien Buemi made a mistake on his first lap and had to go again in the #8 car after his tyres were past their best and he ended up half a second behind Kobayashi.

Toyota opted not to put its second drivers onto fresh rubber because it was not going to challenge Porsche.

That further increased the gap between the two manufacturers.

Kazuki Nakajima moved the #8 car ahead of #7 after Mike Conway encountered traffic on his run.

shares
comments
Austin WEC: Tandy and Jani take pole as Posche dominates

Previous article

Austin WEC: Tandy and Jani take pole as Posche dominates

Next article

Toyota WEC team open to Fernando Alonso Le Mans 24 Hours talks

Toyota WEC team open to Fernando Alonso Le Mans 24 Hours talks
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021
Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Plus

Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally

WEC
Aug 14, 2021