Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon says that the first tests for Toyota’s upcoming Le Mans Hypercar have exceeded expectations in terms of objectives and driver feedback.
After a first public showing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in September, the team has completed the first rollout at Paul Ricard ahead. The car’s unveiling is currently planned for January 2021.
Speaking ahead of WEC’s season finale in Bahrain, Vasselon explained that the team had a positive first rollout of their new car, managing to do more than expected.
“I can tell you that it went quite well, Vasselon said. “I would say that we have solved a few glitches very quickly and we only lost 30 minutes of track time in three days, so it went quite well and our rollout turned into a test session.
“So we could do quite a lot of what we had to do. We did more than we expected.”
Vasselon underlined that the team lost a limited amount of track time during the test.
“We did not lose more than thirty minutes, I think. Compared to what we have done, ideally. So it was quite good and we have ticked all of our test item lists, which was somehow not expected for the rollout.”
Additionally, Vasselon stated that driver feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with the expected driver feedback turning out more positive than anticipated.
“We were expecting them [drivers] to complain ‘we’re heavy, we’re slow, we’re not reacting’.
“We were expecting all the kinds of comments from drivers who have been used to driving extraordinary cars in the past years and now have to deal with cars that have been made slower.
“So we were expecting some negative comments. But all drivers reported that the car is good to drive. They have enjoyed, much more than we [expected].”
Toyota will join Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, ByKolles and Alpine in the new class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, with Peugeot set to join them in 2022. At this weekend’s 8 Hours of Bahrain, it will complete the final race outing with its TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car.