Toyota's new Le Mans Hypercar reliability impresses Lopez

The reliability of Toyota's new Le Mans Hypercar has impressed World Endurance Championship title winner Jose Maria Lopez across its first two tests

Toyota's new Le Mans Hypercar reliability impresses Lopez

Lopez, co-champion in the 2019-20 WEC with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, described the reliability of the Japanese manufacturer's 2021 hybrid prototype as "quite impressive" on the conclusion of its second outing at the Algarve circuit in Portugal this week.

"Already, the first tests were quite good for us," said Lopez. "We managed to do a lot of miles and the reliability of the car was very good.

"With a complex car like this, it was quite impressive for the first tests to do a lot of mileage.

"The team has worked on this technology for long time and has done a brilliant job."

The Toyota LMH, a name for which has yet to be announced, undertook three days of testing at the Algarve track from Wednesday to Friday of this week.

The run followed a shakedown for the car at Paul Ricard at the end of October prior to the final round of the 2019/20 WEC in Bahrain the following month.

Lopez, Conway, Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley drove the solo car present in Portugal across the three days. Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries, Toyota's nominated test and reserve driver, joined the team for the final day of running on Friday.

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon described the three days at the circuit near Portimao as "another productive test of our new Hypercar".

"We have made more good progress on our various testing tasks; our understanding of the new car's characteristics increases with every day of running, thanks to plenty of data, as well as constructive feedback from the drivers," he said.

"We are still at an early stage of the track testing programme, so there is a lot of work to do before Sebring [for the scheduled opening round of the 2021 WEC in March] but we can be satisfied with our work this week."

Toyota's new LMH ran for the first time in wet conditions on the opening day of the test, but Vasselon revealed that "luckily we saw the sun and decent temperatures for the remaining two days".

Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima did not take part in the Portuguese test because they are competing in this weekend's Super Formula finale at Fuji. The Japanese duo were also absent from the Paul Ricard shakedown because they had been racing in the Japanese series the previous weekend at Sugo.

The car ran in livery for the first time this week ahead of a virtual launch planned for mid-January when Toyota will reveal technical details.

It has so far only put out teaser shots of the car running in camouflage at Paul Ricard, but the car will bear a resemblance to the GR Super Sport road car being developed in parallel with the racer.

A concept version of road-going super-sportscars has been running since the summer of 2019.

shares
comments
Albuquerque will defend LMP2 WEC crown in 2021 with United Autosports

Previous article

Albuquerque will defend LMP2 WEC crown in 2021 with United Autosports

Next article

Aston Martin exits WEC and ends GTE Pro programme

Aston Martin exits WEC and ends GTE Pro programme
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020