Toyota targeting June 2020 track debut for hypercar

Toyota is aiming to give its new hypercar challenger for the 2020/21 FIA World Endurance Championship season a June 2020 track debut. 

Toyota targeting June 2020 track debut for hypercar

The Japanese marque is one of two manufacturers to have signed up to produce a car for the new regulations alongside Aston Martin.

While the British brand will produce a car based on its road-going Valkyrie, Toyota is opting for an all-new bespoke hybrid-powered prototype to replace the TS050 Hybrid.

"We will have a car on track in June next year at the earliest,” Toyota team boss Rob Leupen told Motorsport.com at the WEC Prologue test in Barcelona. "Then we probably have a Prologue in August, so we have five or six weeks to go testing.”

Leupen also ruled out using a mule car until the new hypercar makes its testing debut next summer, adding: "We don’t really use a mule car that often anymore.

"A lot is done digitally, modelling the car and then developing it in the simulator. Our GR Sports Concept doesn’t have a lot to do with our race car."

Read Also:

After a lengthy process the new regulations, which will replace the current LMP1 class for a five-year period, were finally announced ahead of last June’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

The repeated delays in getting a set of regulations across the line has even caused a large manufacturer like Toyota a few headaches - with Leupen himself describing the hold-up as "ridiculous" earlier this year.

"We would have liked to see it happen earlier,” the Dutchman said. "It’s very late, but I'm glad we finally got there. We’ve worked on many concepts.

"Often they had to be changed because the rules went in a different direction. With our concepts we tried to support that process, although it cost us a lot of money.”

The FIA and WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest projected an annual budget of 30 million euro to compete in the new top class based on a five-year commitment.

Leupen doesn't believe that number is a realistic benchmark for Toyota with its split operations in Europe and Japan, but says the hypercar regulations will still be significantly cheaper for the Cologne-based outfit than the current LMP1 rules.

"I’m not going to compare [our budget] to the budget the ACO put on the table," he said. "That’s not possible because you’re working in different countries.

"We are not extremely cost-efficient because our powertrain comes from Japan and we’re based in Cologne. If you’re very efficient you’re doing everything in one place.

"We’re not a great reference, but the new rules are significantly cheaper. We’re talking about [savings of] over 50 percent. We used to build a new monocoque every year. If that’s 10 million euros every year, then now you can write that off over a period of five years. 

"We do get some freedom to develop bits here and there, but there’s also a Balance of Performance. Those are massive savings. That’s what they wanted and we agree with that." 

Toyota GR Super Sport concept

Toyota GR Super Sport concept

Photo by: Motor1

shares
comments
Cindric unsure if WEC hypercar regs “move the needle” for Penske

Previous article

Cindric unsure if WEC hypercar regs “move the needle” for Penske

Next article

WEC confirms date change for 2019/20 Spa race

WEC confirms date change for 2019/20 Spa race
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Filip Cleeren
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

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
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

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

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 racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing 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 GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021