Toyota performance pegged back for WEC Le Mans 24 hours

Toyota's performance is set to be pegged back at next month's Le Mans 24 Hours in comparison to last year's World Endurance Championship event

Toyota performance pegged back for WEC Le Mans 24 hours

The two Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs will be 10kg heavier than in 2018 under the Equivalence of Technology published for the pre-race test at Le Mans on June 2.

The latest EoT table, which is subject to change ahead of the final round of the World Endurance Championship on June 15/16, means that the half a second a lap advantage around Le Mans that was in place last year has been reduced.

This margin, equivalent to 0.25% per lap, was a condition of Toyota's acceptance of changes to the regulations ahead of the start of the 2018/19 WEC superseason as the rulemakers tried to close the gap between the remaining manufacturer in LMP1 and the privateers.

Toyota agreed to this advantage being wiped out ahead of the Fuji WEC round last October, but publicly stated at the time that its agreement with the rule makers meant it would be back in place for Le Mans.

A new deal appears to have been negotiated that will wipe out much of the notional half second.

The fastest privateer race lap at Le Mans last year was 3.4s slower than the best Toyota time.

Changes to the EoT and development by the privateers have reduced the gap to Toyota.

Toyota's advantage in qualifying at Spa, a circuit half the length of Le Mans, came down from 1.4s last year to 0.6s in the 2019 race earlier this month.

The additional 10kg is a reduction on the 26kg increase in minimum weight that Toyota accepted ahead of Fuji and has run in the WEC since.

The decrease appears to reflect the lower amount of hybrid energy the Toyotas can release per kilometre around the long Le Mans lap than at other WEC races.

The Toyotas' new minimum weight is 888kg, down from the 904kg at which they raced at Fuji, Shanghai, Sebring and Spa.

The minimum weight for turbocharged privateers, which now means only the AER-powered SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1s, remains unchanged 833kg.

The normally-aspirated cars that make up the rest of the field will have to weigh in at 816kg, a two kilogramme reduction from Sebring in March and a 27kg reduction from Le Mans last year.

Toyota also had a one-lap advantage in the length of stint between refuelling stops and a five-second advantage in the time it took to refuel at Le Mans last year.

Whether the TS050s will retain these for Le Mans next month isn't made clear in the latest EoT table.

The maximum petrol per stint figures have yet to defined for the privateers, though Toyota will be able to consume 35.1 litres as per last year.

This will mean 11-lap stints of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe during dry, green-flag running.

The refuelling restrictors, which define the rate at which fuel goes into the cars, have also yet to be specified for the privateers.

Toyota again has a 19mm diameter restrictor.

The maximum fuel flow figures for the P1 field remain at 115kg per hour for the privateers and 80kg/h for the Toyota.

The privateers were given 115kg/h, an increase on the 108kg/h they ran at Le Mans in 2018, in advance of the Silverstone WEC round last August.

shares
comments
DragonSpeed to leave WEC LMP1 to focus on IndyCar in 2020 season

Previous article

DragonSpeed to leave WEC LMP1 to focus on IndyCar in 2020 season

Next article

BMW announces WEC GTE exit after one season, will continue in IMSA

BMW announces WEC GTE exit after one season, will continue in IMSA
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