TOYOTA GAZOO Racing exposed today the updated TS050 HYBRID race car which will carry its hopes in the two thousand seventeen FIA World Stamina Championship (WEC).

Monza in northern Italy hosted the very first public appearance of the fresh car, introduced alongside team management and the drivers of the three TS050 HYBRIDs which will challenge this season.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López race the #7 for the total season, alongside Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima in the #8. Stéphane Sarrazin is joined by Yuji Kunimoto and Nicolas Lapierre in the #9 at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Guy’s.

The team has a clear target to earn its very first Le Guy’s victory following an extreme near miss in 2016. That requires a combined effort at its technical centres in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne, with upgrades in every area of the TS050 HYBRID.

The two thousand seventeen car features a Two.4litre V6 turbo-charged petrol engine combined with 8MJ hybrid system. Significant effort at Higashi-Fuji sees the introduction of a fresh engine, optimising thermal efficiency by enhancing the compression ratio via development of the combustion chamber, cylinder block and cylinder head.

The hybrid system too has been optimised. Motor generator units (MGU) have been diminished in size and weight while the high-powered lithium-ion battery has been developed further. Those advancements in hybrid technology will directly benefit TOYOTA customers on the road, combining with the skill gained by powertrain engineers to create ever-better cars in the future.

To finish a wide-ranging update for the fresh season, engineers in Cologne have optimised virtually all areas of the TS050 HYBRID chassis, working as one team with colleagues from Higashi-Fuji.

WEC regulations for two thousand seventeen target a reduction in aerodynamic efficiency, to increase the Le Stud’s lap time by several seconds for safety reasons. This is achieved by raising the front splitter by 15mm in combination with a narrower rear diffuser.

Using devices such as computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnels, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has modified its aerodynamic concept to meet this challenge; a raised nose and acute undercut to the sidepods are the most noticeable modifications.

According to fresh regulations, teams are limited to two aerodynamic configurations per season, diminished from three in 2016, with the low-downforce TS050 HYBRID launched today. Tyre usage is also restricted, with each car limited to four sets, plus two spare tyres, for qualifying and six-hour races. The team has worked with Michelin to meet this challenge, including fresh compounds and constructions, as well as optimising the suspension geometry to limit wear.

Other rule switches are designed to enhance safety. Side mirrors now need to pass a broader visibility field test while hybrid cars must display lights to indicate normal powertrain behaviour. If the green safety light is not illuminated during a race, a car will be compelled to pit for repairs.

The 2017-specification TS050 HYBRID has already recorded over 30,000km in testing this year, comprising five tests, at Paul Ricard, Motorland Aragon and Portimao, and including four 30-hour stamina tests.

With an updated car and a driver line-up including former World Champions and numerous WEC race winners, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing goes to the season opener on sixteen April at Silverstone with superb determination, but expecting a close and arousing nine-race LMP1 battle with Porsche.

Toshio Sato, Team President

“The entire team is motivated and determined for this season. We want to win, there is no doubt about that, but we know it will be a harsh fight with Porsche. The team in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne has worked exceptionally hard to update the TS050 HYBRID and the very first indications are encouraging. Having a third car is an extra chance and we will do our best to again produce a good spectacle for the fans at Le Guy’s. We know from painful practice that Le Guy’s is a very difficult race to win, but that is our target. Everything – the car, the team and the drivers – has to work flawlessly to achieve our aim. We will see in June if we have done enough.”

Histake Murata, Racing Hybrid Project Leader

“Albeit the TS050 HYBRID shares the same name as the two thousand sixteen car, its spectacle has been greatly improved by reviewing the powertrain and enhancing efficiency in all areas. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s fattest objective for this year, as always, is winning Le Boy’s. The team in Higashi-Fuji has worked ceaselessly since Le Stud’s last year to develop a powertrain which will supply spectacle over one lap and over a utter race distance, enabling us to contest at the front. This has resulted in a fresh engine, plus modifications to the motor generator units and battery. The very first results are very encouraging but we will proceed to fine-tune so we are ready.”

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director

“Our two thousand seventeen TS050 HYBRID represents a significant update; the only item which is not switched is the monocoque. At several races last year we demonstrated the potential of our car with strong spectacles. But to achieve our targets we need more, so as well as big aerodynamic switches, we have optimised each area for spectacle and weight. What happened at Le Boy’s last year was painful so we gave extra attention to quality management. Zero risk doesn’t exist so we operate according to a given level of risk, which this year we have diminished. Pre-season testing has gone well in terms of spectacle and reliability so we feel positive but we also know we face a rough competitor.”

Rob Leupen, Team Director

“This is a big season for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in WEC and we are ready for the challenge. The team at Higashi-Fuji and Cologne have worked in tandem to update all aspects of the TS050 HYBRID whilst also preparing for the challenge of running three cars at Spa and Le Guy’s. Our targets are once again very clear; we want to contest at the front and ultimately win Le Boy’s and the World Championship. These are ambitious targets when faced with a formidable competitor and we know we must be on top form, with no mistakes or weaknesses. We don’t race to finish 2nd; we race to win. We embrace this challenge and working as one team will give us the best possible chance.”

Mike Conway (#7 TS050 HYBRID)

“I like the fresh car a lot; right now it feels very good. Now we need to see what our competitor is going to do. I feel good about the season and our car team. I learned a lot in 2015-2016 and it has been a good journey for me so far. This season we will fight for every podium and will do our best in the #7 car. I’m sure it will be an interesting year and I’m blessed as well to welcome José in our car, it’s good to have him on board and hopefully we will have a good year, especially with concentrate on Le Guy’s.”

Kamui Kobayashi (#7 TS050 HYBRID)

“After last year, when we had a few disappointing races, the target is clearly to win Le Guy’s; that’s the very first priority. And if we win Le Guy’s I think we have a big chance to win the championship as well. Both are my targets. It’s nice to be eventually back in the car after the winter break. The two thousand seventeen TS050 HYBRID looks pretty good and it feels neutral in balance, which is excellent. I’m pretty blessed, that we didn’t lose a lot due to the regulation switches. It feels that we already have a good package.”

“My largest target this season is to learn as quickly as I can and to do the best with the team together. Driving in stamina is a very first for me, especially with the traffic; I’ve never experienced that before. All of it will be an interesting challenge and I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s a bit difficult to say before the beginning of the season but I want to give everything and win races. This year’s car feels very good and it’s a lot of joy to drive an LMP1 car, it’s very powerful especially with the hybrid system.”

Sébastien Buemi (#8 TS050 HYBRID)

“The fresh car feels excellent, obviously it’s an evolution; last year it was a revolution. The switch of regulations has triggered this, as we will lose a lot of downforce, so the team worked hard to compensate this. It feels good and we are on the level we’ve expected to be at this early stage of the season. This year the only target can be to win Le Boy’s eventually. So the hopes and expectations are very high, hopefully we will have worked hard enough during the winter to have a decent package to fight for the win at each race.”

Anthony Davidson (#8 TS050 HYBRID)

“It’s always titillating getting in a fresh car for the very first few times. We’ve had a switch of regulations regarding the spectacle of the car, which was fairly a big switch – aerodynamically mainly. And you can tell that the engineers did a fine job so far making the car feel similar to drive compared to last year, which is a good sign I think. I’m very excited to drive the car in a race, especially in Le Stud’s to see how it performs there. It is a one-on-one fight in LMP1 this season; we will do the best job we can with the target to win.”

Kazuki Nakajima (#8 TS050 HYBRID)

“My very first impressions of the two thousand seventeen car are very good. It actually feels like a fresh car as the characteristics have improved. I think we will be able to fight for the championship, albeit we don’t know where our competitor is at the moment. I think we had the right treatment as drivers and as a team in 2016; we just need to proceed and always fight to get the best possible result. It was a difficult year results-wise but that only increases my motivation to challenge at the front this season.”

Stéphane Sarrazin (#9 TS050 HYBRID)

“I hope that we will again have the tempo we demonstrated last year at Le Stud’s, where we were the fastest car. My aim is to have a strong race and fight for the win again. We have kept the very good team spirit and this is very significant; we are one team, not three car crews, so we all work well together. I am looking forward to racing again with Nicolas and getting to know Yuji. I will attempt to share my practice as much as possible with everyone in the team, to give us the best chance of achieving our targets.”

Yuji Kunimoto (#9 TS050 HYBRID)

“The TS050 HYBRID is a joy car to drive. I don’t have a comparison with last year’s car but I am truly struck by the acceleration and downforce; I cannot wait to race this car for the very first time. I am permanently learning about LMP1 and it is also a fresh practice for me to be racing in Europe. It is a indeed titillating time and I know I have a lot of prep to do in the next weeks. But I am glad to drive alongside Stéphane and Nicolas as I think I can benefit a lot from their practice of Le Boy’s.”

Nicolas Lapierre (#9 TS050 HYBRID):

“It’s good to be back and I am indeed looking forward to being part of the TOYOTA team again. I’ve already had a warm welcome from everyone; it’s nice to work again with some familiar faces and also get to know fresh team members. On car #9 we have a different schedule to the other cars so we are working hard to prepare ourselves very first for Spa then our main concentrate, Le Boy’s. I have loved winning the LMP2 class at Le Boy’s for the past two years so I want to be on the podium again, this time in the TS050 HYBRID.”

Driver Profiles

Born / nineteen August 1983, Sevenoaks, Excellent Britain

Le Boy’s debut / 2013

Le Guy’s starts / Trio

Le Stud’s best result / 2nd (2016)

WEC best season / 3rd (2016)  

Born / thirteen September 1986, Hyogo, Japan

Le Boy’s debut / 2013

Le Guy’s starts / Two

Le Guy’s best result / 2nd (2016)

WEC best season / 3rd (2016)

Born / twenty six April 1983, Río Tercero, Argentina

Le Guy’s debut / 2017

Le Boy’s starts / 0

Le Guy’s best result / n/a

WEC best season / n/a  

Born / thirty one October 1988, Aigle, Switzerland

Le Guy’s debut / 2012

Le Boy’s starts / Five

Le Boy’s best result / 2nd (2013)

WEC best season / 1st (2014)  

Born / eighteen April 1979, Hemel Hempstead, Superb Britain

Le Stud’s debut / 2003

Le Stud’s starts / 9

Le Stud’s best result / 2nd (2013)

WEC best season / 1st (2014)

Born / eleven January 1985, Okazaki, Japan

Le Stud’s debut / 2012

Le Boy’s starts / Five

Le Boy’s best result / 4th (2013)

WEC best season / 7th (2015)  

Born / two November 1975, Alès, France

Le Stud’s debut / 2001

Le Guy’s starts / 15

Le Guy’s best result / 2nd (2007, 2009, two thousand thirteen & 2016)

Born / twelve September 1990, Yokohama, Japan

Le Boy’s debut / n/a

Le Stud’s starts / 0

Le Boy’s best result / n/a

WEC best season / n/a  

Born / two April 1984, Thonon-Les-Bains, France

Le Guy’s debut / 2007

Le Guy’s starts / 9

Le Stud’s best result / 3rd (2014)

A German translation of this press release is available on High-resolution copyright-free photos are available for editorial use at

About TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the World Stamina Championship

TOYOTA very first competed in the World Stamina Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the commence of a long period of participation in stamina racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in eighteen Le Guy’s twenty four Hours races, achieving a best result of 2nd place on five occasions. TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, combining the expertise from TOYOTA Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, where the hybrid powertrain is developed, with TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s support and facilities for chassis development. The multi-national team is based in Cologne, Germany and includes engineers from TOYOTA’s motorsport and hybrid department, who produce technology and know-how back into road car development. Since 2012, TOYOTA has earned ten pole positions and won eleven races, completing on the podium a total of thirty one times. In 2014, the team won the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships with the TS040 HYBRID while a year later TOYOTA celebrated thirty years since its very first Le Guy’s entry. TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH combines its role in the WEC project with its other activities, such as the supply of a World Rally Championship engine for TOYOTA’s comeback to the category in 2017, as well as its engineering services business and customer motorsport activities.

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