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Toyota to take new hybrid to LeMans

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Back in 2009, Toyota’s global racing director, Tadashi Yamashina, made the surprising announcement that his company was dropping out of F1 racing, although it did return to endurance racing in 2012.

Now it looks as though the Denso Toyota Racing Team drivers Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, and Stéphane Sarrazin, along with reserve test driver Mike Conway, are set to take things to the next level with their 2 new TS040 Hybrid cars.

The cars feature a gas-powered V8 engine and an Aisin AW motor/generator on the front axle in order to “power to all 4 wheels” in combination with the rear Denso unit, as well as “utilize braking force in combination with traditional mechanical brakes to generate energy, which is transferred via a DENSO inverter to the Nisshinbo super-capacitor” during deceleration.

The hybrids have been officially entered for the 2014 World Enduance Chanpionship season and are expected to be at the official test session Mar. 28-29 before competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Automobile Club de I’Ouest.

“We are very much looking forward to this new season with our new car, the TS040 HYBRID. The 2014 season is an important one for TOYOTA Racing; after two years we have built up a lot of experience and now, with new regulations, all teams start from a level playing field. This is an exciting challenge for us and one we are determined to succeed in. This year we will benefit from a four-wheel drive hybrid system using our proven super-capacitor storage solution and this will provide a very substantial acceleration boost. It will be fascinating to see how the various solutions compare; personally I can’t wait to get started”, exclaimed Team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita.

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