Toyota racing hybrid makes its US debut in Texas
Like all performance technologies, Toyota’s hybrid drive systems are improved by racing. The Toyota TS030 racing hybrid will soon be in the US for the first time as part of the Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Toyota’s racing hybrids came in first and second place exactly a year ago at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo. Toyota hopes to repeat that impressive finish this year at its first US race. In Toyota’s most recent outing the TS030 was hit by a lapped car in Brazil. That ruined a very promising race at Interlagos.
Unlike a passenger car, the Toyota TS030 Hybrid recovers and then produces its power rapidly. The Toyota hybrid racing car can develop an additional 300 horsepower from its hybrid drive system. Most passenger car hybrid systems by comparison develop about 50 horsepower.
The Circuit of the Americas is a newly constructed track in Texas. It is a 5.5 mile track with 20 corners and two hairpin turns with a fast section in between. The circuit also features elevation changes. The track has four hybrid vehicle energy recovery zones. After these zones the vehicles are allowed to use the added energy to boost power and sprint. The Toyota team president, Yoshiaki Kinoshita, commented saying “It is exciting for TOYOTA Racing to be competing in the United States for the first time, particularly at a track like the Circuit of the Americas. It looks like a great lay-out and I can’t wait to see the TS030 HYBRID running flat-out there. It would be a dream result to win the first WEC race in Austin but it will be a challenge. Our high-downforce package performed well in Brazil but we didn’t have the chance to see exactly how competitive we were in race conditions due to the accident. So this time we want to take the fight to Audi for the full six hours.”
The race is this Sunday with practice and other pre-race on-track activity starting Thursday.