Lexus team SARD ran a conservative race, their first competition outing with the new car, steadily moving up the overall classification from 30th at the six hour mark to 17th after 18 hours.
Despite being stripped and lightened for racing, the big sedan still passed over the scales nearly 300 lb over the allowed minimum weight for its class - a huge disadvantage that probably contributed to a mid-race pit stop to change brake rotors. The hybrid powertrain necessitated some unusual pit stop procedures - the crew had to regularly replenish the dry ice cooling system for the trunk-mounted batteries.
With the FIA already looking at regenerative braking and alternative powertrains for its flagship Formula 1 series, don't be surprised to see more hybrid cars in international motorsports in the next few years.
More pics after the jump.
[Source: Lexus team SARD]