24h Le Mans
08/02/2018 12:01

Toyota TS050 HYBRID shows its colors (+ video about Fernando Alonso at Le Mans)

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing confirmed its participation in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) this past December, then last week announced its driver line-ups. Now the team is unveiling the livery of the Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

Toyota TS050 HYBRID shows its colors (+ video about Fernando Alonso at Le Mans)

The new Toyota TS050 HYBRID, gearing up to compete in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), was unveiled this morning. The car has been perfected from the preceding version, though there are few notable changes to point out. The team says "the THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System-Racing) hybrid powertrain, developed at the Toyota Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre in Japan, not only follows the existing four-wheel regenerative system, but also improves the reliability of the engine, electric motors/generators and batteries. These technologies will be developed for the mass production of hybrid and electric vehicles." The two Japanese cars will be outfitted with Michelin tires.

As for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's driver line-ups, stability is the name of the game for the #7 still shared by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López. At the wheel of the #8, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima have been joined by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso. Anthony Davidson will remain with the team in the capacity of development and reserve driver.

So Fernando Alonso has officially joined the ranks of Toyota not only for the 2018  24 Hours of Le Mans 2018, but also for every round of the 2018/2019 World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) Super Season. "I am very excited to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time. It is a race which I have followed closely for a long time and it has always been an ambition of mine to participate. Endurance racing is a different discipline compared to single-seaters and it will be an interesting challenge. I am looking forward to working together with, and learning from, Sébastien and Kazuki, who are both very experienced endurance drivers. It will be a learning curve for me but I am ready for this challenge and I can’t wait to get started."

The Spanish driver tries out his car, with its all-new livery, at the Motorland circuit in Spain as you can see in the video below, and talks about his debut appearance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in just a few months.

The 2018/2019 World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) Super Season will kick off at Spa-Francorchamps on May 5th as the final dress rehearsal before the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16th and 17th. The win at Le Mans remains the Japanese marque's primary objective after coming so close to victory in the past, especially in 2016! 

Quotation and photo from Toyota press release. 

 

David Bristol
translated by Nikki Ehrhardt
written by David Bristol
  • #Le Mans 24 Hours
  • #FIA WEC

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