Toyota Hypercar will be "really different" to race with

Toyota drivers Brendon Hartley and Mike Conway believe the marque's new Le Mans Hypercar will be very different to race with compared to the LMP1 car it replaces.

Toyota Hypercar will be "really different" to race with

Last week Toyota offered a first look at the GR010 Hybrid, which will debut in the new Hypercar class of this year's FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours.

While the successor to the TS050 Hybrid is still a four-wheel drive hybrid prototype, the all-new LMH regulations dictate that the car's front-axle hybrid system is deployed in a different manner compared to the previous era's LMP1 cars.

The new WEC rules state that the car is not allowed to deploy its hybrid power below 120km/h and that the combined power output of the MGU and internal combustion engine can never exceed a total of 680bhp.

Read Also:

While the new car therefore has less peak power output, the more linear speed curve will also do away with some of the old LMP1's quirks, rocketing out of slower corners using the hybrid boost but then lifting and coasting well ahead of the braking zone due to calculated fuel cuts.

According to Hartley, who shares the #8 GR010 Hybrid with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, the way the drivers will have to race other cars and manage traffic will be very different compared to the outgoing TS050.

Toyota GR010 Hybrid

Toyota GR010 Hybrid

Photo by: Toyota

"The dynamic of how we approach the traffic is going to be really different," Hartley said. "Also for the LMP2 and GTE cars, I think they're also going to have to adapt when they see us in the mirrors.

"I think top speeds won't be too different, but the way we accelerate is going to be very different. Before we had a thousand horsepower and we accelerated like a rocket and then we more or less flatlined.

"And instead of decelerating before we brake, now it's a much more conventional power curve and speed trace where we're accelerating the whole straight line.

"You won't see us kind of rocket past with that thousand horsepower initially out of the corners and I think we're going to be more often diving in under the brakes."

Read Also:

The TS050 LMP1 car, which yielded three Le Mans wins for Toyota, was designed to run out of hybrid energy well ahead of braking zones, which was deemed to be the most efficient way to deploy the available hybrid power while staying within fuel consumption limits.

That characteristic would often catch some of the less experienced drivers in the pro-am LMP2 and GTE Am classes by surprise.

Such an incident cost Toyota dearly in the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, when Nicolas Lapierre's car was rear-ended by an LMP2 competitor in the first braking zone.

Conway, who drives the #7 sister car alongside Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi, believes that type of incidents might be prevented by the new rules.

"It will definitely change the dynamic of what we are used to, so the way you think about traffic will be a bit more predictable and the closing rates won't be so quick," he added.

"The way to go by some cars might be a bit less spectacular, but I think it will it make a little bit easier at times as well for braking zones [that] the lift and coast phases will be gone.

"It's actually nice because things become a little bit more predictable. [You're no longer] looking in the mirrors panicking that you might get rear-ended."

shares
comments

Related video

WEC cancels Sebring opener, Portimao named as replacement

Previous article

WEC cancels Sebring opener, Portimao named as replacement

Next article

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

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

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.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

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
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

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 Prime

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
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

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 was considered the heavy favourite 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 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez 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