FREE NEWSLETTER

Toyota warns of non-hybrid rivals’ strength

5 June 2018

Although Fernando Alonso piloted the No.8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid to the top of the time sheet during the Le Mans test day, his time of 3:19.066 was only 0.614 seconds ahead of the second-quickest racer, the non-hybrid Rebellion R13 Gibson, driven by Mathias Beche, which dropped the No.7 TS050 into third with a time of 3:20.008.

The Toyota-splitting pace of the Rebellion was enough to prompt Toyota Gazoo Racing’s technical director Pascal Vasselon to acknowledge that the non-hybrid LMP1 entrants had become “very serious” competitors thanks to the “large progress” made by the privateers since their performance in the World Endurance Championship’s superseason opener at Spa.

“What we’re interested in is the progress. Obviously, our new competitors are not stabilised, I would say, in their performance development,” said Vasselon after the test.

“We saw very large progress for the Rebellion but even more for the SMP cars. They are coming very strongly and for sure we can’t rest… We are already pushing and we will try to find some extra tenths.”

He did however add that the test day was successful, with the two Toyota’s racking up more than 1,700 miles between them, and completing several high-mileage runs on some sets of tyres. This meant that the test was “very good preparation for the race”, even if Alonso’s time was still slower than the benchmark from last year’s test.

This, Vasselon explained, was because Toyota did not undertake qualifying simulations with either of its cars this year, although according to the outfit’s predictions, thanks to the improvements made to the TS050 since 2017’s test day, and the high-grip levels of the test, a 3:17 lap would have been possible. Vasselon was also keen to point out that this year’s racers were also improved in terms of race pace, insisting that they were “significantly faster than last year.”

Partners

Latest issue

FREE Newsletter

Stay up to date and a chance to win 1 Years Subscription*

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Latest Tweets

Stay up to date with our social world

RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
18 Oct
UK Sports Prototype Cup to launch in 2019 https://t.co/vFazQKQ7xc
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
18 Oct
Welcome to The Revolution https://t.co/18aQ8YdXZY
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
17 Oct
We look forward to @rFactorPro showcasing their new Digital Circuit Maintenance contracts and their #Autonomoushttps://t.co/Jen3kHc5RV
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
17 Oct
World Endurance hypercar budgets slashed https://t.co/goYl1G9r4M
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
16 Oct
Ligier goes back to its roots with new model https://t.co/tdst8SaFE8
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
15 Oct
Bloodhound SSC project hits the buffers https://t.co/ApKBAWUmEb
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
12 Oct
Aston Martin to replace Mercedes in DTM https://t.co/WRIFbMx6yV
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
11 Oct
Great news that Matthias Dank, Global Business Segment Manager Racing for @AVL_List is contributing us as a Cabine… https://t.co/4Q1gXg1ThB