The Toyota TS030 Hybrid made its Le Mans debut this past weekend during the event's single day test session on Sunday, marking the first time a Toyota prototype has run at Cirque De La Sarthe since the GT-One, codenamed TS020, competed at the 24 hour race in '98 and '99.

It was no surprise that Audi ran the fastest times during the two practice sessions - the pair of Audi R18 E-Tron Quattros nabbed the top spots - but there is little doubt that Toyota considers their results to be positive. After all, success in racing, particularly for a brand-new car at Le Mans, can be defined in a variety of ways. The quickest TS030 Hybrid ran just a little over a second behind the top Audi (3:27.204 vs 3:25.927), a time that is more than competitive.

"We are continuously adjusting and improving the system, so each test day brings a step forward and that was true again today," said Hisatake Murata, the team's project leader.

You can see the Toyota TS030 Hybrid in action at Le Mans in the gallery above, or scroll down below to read the official announcement from Toyota Motorsport GmbH.
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TOYOTA Racing's pair of TS030 HYBRID cars achieved another milestone today by successfully participating in the traditional test day to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June.

For the first time, TOYOTA Racing had two cars in action, having completed all testing so far with only the #7 car. A brief shakedown for the #8 car on Friday capped a huge effort from the team at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) to complete the car in time for the test.

Both TS030 HYBRIDs, displaying their new TOYOTA hybrid-blue livery, were in action immediately when the lights went green at 9am, beginning another new chapter for the team with its first multi-car test.

The complete driver line-up for car #7 of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima took part in the test while the #8 featured Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi.

It was decided that Stéphane Sarrazin should miss today's activities to give him additional time to recover from cuts and bruises sustained in a cycling accident. Stéphane will return to driving duties for TOYOTA Racing for the Le Mans race week.

One priority for today's test was for Le Mans newcomers Kazuki and Sébastien to complete the mandatory 10 laps required to allow participation in the race. This was comfortably achieved in the morning.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "Today was a significant step for us because it was our first chance to see the car on track against our opposition at Le Mans. It's hard to judge lap times but it certainly strengthens our racing spirit. Overall we are satisfied to complete a full day's running with both cars without any significant issue; the only interruptions came with some minor bodywork damage. Unfortunately we only had five drivers with us following Stéphane's accident. But he's an experienced driver so we have no concerns; he'll be on top form for the race I'm sure."

Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader: "To see the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing on track at Le Mans is a day we have been anticipating for a long time. We are continuously adjusting and improving the system, so each test day brings a step forward and that was true again today. The combination of downshifting, braking and charging is really working in harmony; it's like an elaborate dance. I would like to express my thanks to all the guys at Cologne and Higashifuji who have worked so hard to prepare for this. From a personal point of view, today really brought back memories of my last time working as part of a TOYOTA team here. I was engine engineer for the #33 TS010 back in 1992 when we finished in second place, so after a 20-year break it's great to be back."


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  • 24 Comments
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      A little bummed they ditched the red/white livery for this one with a kinda cheesy looking lightning graphics, but nonetheless, I still have high hopes this upcoming Le Mans will be an exciting one.
        JDam4131
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        The red livery also had the cheesy lightning graphics it was just harder to see. I agree though, this reminds me more of the Peugeot livery, and they upgraded the headlights to LED it seems.
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        Totally agree. They should be racing with a simmilar livery to the 1999 GT1
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        At least they fixed the lights now, the ones on the red/white one were ugly and seemed "upside down" to me.
      Jonathan Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate to nitpick, but it's "Circuit", not "Cirque". "Circuit" IS French.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Lee
        Isn't Cirque the French word for Circus? Unless this TS030 is going to trapeze while the R18 jumps through hoops and juggles, I think AB made a boo boo.
      Graham
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm still rooting for Audi but I'm also rooting for Toyota to make it competitive. It is hard to dislike Toyota with the same passionate dislike for Team Peugeot.
        Myself
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Graham
        the only reason I wanted peugeot to win in their le mans days was that they had jacques villeneuve on the team. He'd one of few to have won le mans, indy and f1. His car finished second
          Myself
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Myself
          he'd be one.... Sorry for the typo....
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Graham
        Actually I have found it quite easy to dislike Toyota. All you have to do is remember the millions of boring cars they have built in the past 10 years, and all the great ones the killed off due to lack of profitability. (as if that freaking company couldn't afford to lose a few bucks)
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        LEDfoot
        • 2 Years Ago
        Of course, the TS030 has pretty much nothing at all in common with the regular priuses, it doesn't even use batteries.
      mojonaut
      • 2 Years Ago
      A second a lap still equates to around five minutes (or a lap and about two-thirds) come the end of the race.
        Jonathan Arena
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mojonaut
        Yes, but we know nothing about it's fuel efficiency. If its a second a lap slower but needs to come to the pits 6 or 7 fewer times during the race then it's a dead heat.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mert Bayri
      • 2 Years Ago
      it is circuit de la sarthe not cirque
      Shahul X
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ahahaha Toyota going up against Audi in the 24 hours of lemans... Ahhh thanks Toyota, I needed a good laugh today
        Frisky_Dingo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shahul X
        You mean like they did in 1999, when Audi had two forms of representation, the R8R and R8C, and performed considerably better??? And lest we forget, Toyota had the '98 race in the bag until a late accident handed Porsche their 16th, and last LeMans win.....
      LEDfoot
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's impressive! I have always been a huge Audi fan and I am excited to see another competitive entry in the P1 class. Hopefully Toyota has their team sorted out and the car is reliable enough to make it an exciting race now that Peugeot has bowed out.
      RBee2011
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who says Toyota is bland? This is the most prestigious race in existence. Good luck to them.
        Shahul X
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RBee2011
        I do.. I say Toyota is bland... At least the last couple years they are trying to maybe change that image a bit.. Versus the appliances they have been fielding that are exciting as watching paint dry
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