Toyota operating on "risky" design schedule for WEC hypercar

Toyota admits it is operating on a "risky" schedule regarding the design and build of its hypercar for the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship season

Toyota operating on "risky" design schedule for WEC hypercar

The Japanese manufacturer formally confirmed its participation in the class that will be known officially as 'Le Mans Hypercar' (LMH) earlier this year, choosing to construct a new hybrid-powered prototype inspired by its GR Super Sport concept car.

But the late confirmation of the hypercar regulations, which weren't finalised until shortly before the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, has given Toyota and Aston Martin a relatively narrow window in which to prepare their contenders for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon admitted that even with the season opener at Silverstone set to take place slightly later next year, the outfit is still facing a big challenge ensuring its new car will be ready on time.

"Flat out, too late!" said Vasselon when asked to provide an update on Toyota's hypercar preparations.

"Everything is very critical. The cars will hit the ground shortly before homologation and the first race. It's all very tight, very risky schedule.

"Silverstone has moved a bit, apparently it will be a bit later.

"Instead of end of August, it will be at the beginning of September, so we gain maybe one week there.

"It's difficult to ask for more because at the moment we go for the perfect programme and hope everything goes well.

"But for sure it's risky."

First roll-out now set for July

Toyota team director Rob Leupen had previously indicated that Toyota was aiming for a first roll-out of its new contender in June 2020, but said this has now been pushed back slightly.

"It's likely to be July, early-to-mid July," he told Autosport.

"We're working very hard.

"Our chief engineer John Litjens [was at the factory] to sign off the last activities there so that we can move forward in terms of production, and contacting all the suppliers.

"It's a tight one because the regulations were defined extremely late.

"There are still some issues open which are not major issues, but for me based on the time we have left is a bit of a shame.

"There are details on the technical side that are still being discussed."

shares
comments
Porsche set for four-car 2020 Le Mans GTE Pro entry

Previous article

Porsche set for four-car 2020 Le Mans GTE Pro entry

Next article

Gordon Murray working with Formula 1's Racing Point on T.50 supercar

Gordon Murray working with Formula 1's Racing Point on T.50 supercar
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

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