Polesitter Toyota 'on the back foot' at WEC Nurburgring

Pole winner Toyota believes it is second favourite behind Porsche going into today's Nurburgring round of the World Endurance Championship

Polesitter Toyota 'on the back foot' at WEC Nurburgring

The Japanese manufacturer suspects that Porsche's new high-downforce version of the 919 Hybrid will have an advantage over its TS050 HYBRID in the six-hour race based on the evidence of free practice.

Toyota driver Anthony Davidson told Autosport: "From what we have seen, it looks like they have got five or six tenths on us.

"I'm almost relieved that the gap is so small, so we are not giving up the fight.

"None of us has done a double stint yet, so hopefully our car will look after its tyres a bit better through the second stint."

Toyota Motorsport technical director Pascal Vasselon added: "They were looking good on the long runs.

"It is quite difficult to analyse, but I am not going to say that we are looking super-good."

Toyota also admitted that it didn't expect to claim pole with the #7 TS050, which ended up fastest on aggregate in the hands of Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi, and Porsche believes that it has "the faster race car", according to Timo Bernhard.

Both sets of Porsche drivers explained that they were disappointed not to get the pole.

Brendon Hartley and Bernhard, who qualified second, lost time respectively with tyre temperature issues and traffic in the #2 car, while Neel Jani lost approximately half a second with a moment at Turn 12 in the #1 car in which Andre Lotterer set the fastest time in qualifying.

Vasselon explained that Toyota has traditionally struggled at the Nurburgring since its arrival on the WEC calendar in 2015 because the circuit favours Porsche's hybrid system.

"Our double KERS [kinetic energy recovery system] produces far too much energy, which means we have to detune it and it has a negative effect on the car balance and the brake temperature," he said.

He explained that the Porsche, which recovers energy from a front-axle KERS and engine exhaust gases, was less affected by the stop-start nature of the Nurburgring layout.

"On the hybrid system side we are on the back foot," he continued.

"It hurts us and favours Porsche's systems, because they are able to boost to the maximum without any issues."

shares
comments
Porsche poised to decide whether to withdraw from LMP1 after 2017

Previous article

Porsche poised to decide whether to withdraw from LMP1 after 2017

Next article

Nurburgring WEC: Porsche follows Le Mans win with one-two finish

Nurburgring WEC: Porsche follows Le Mans win with one-two finish
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
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