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Toyota unveils hydrogen racing concept for Le Mans

14 June 2023

Toyota has revealed its hydrogen GR H2 Racing Concept as it looks to the future of Le Mans 24 Hours.

The prototype followed a recent announcement by the Le Mans 24 Hours organiser, ACO, that it would allow hydrogen-engine vehicles to compete in addition to fuel cell electric vehicles in the race’s hydrogen category.

“Le Mans is a place where we not only compete in one of the world’s most celebrated races but a place where we can push the boundaries of technology – a place where we can realize the future,” said Toyota Chairman, Akio Toyoda. “We are grateful to the ACO and Le Mans for providing this unique opportunity to share our efforts with the world. “My goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in motorsports without sacrificing anything in terms of performance or excitement.

“We look forward to our new GR H2 race car in view of the new Le Mans H2 class in the future. The sound, the torque, the dynamics, it’s all there. Not only are we re-imagining the race car, we’re doing it with zero emissions. Here’s to the next 100 years of checkered flags!”

ACO President Pierre Fillon called the announcement “a milestone in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship”. “100 years ago, the ACO created the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a real technological laboratory for a car in full development,” he said. “Today, mobility is undergoing a revolution, that of the energy transition and the 24 hours of Le Mans can participate in the search for sustainable technologies.

He added: “Since 2018, the ACO, with MissionH24 and GreenGT, has been promoting hydrogen, a safe and efficient energy carrier. This day is a new crucial step for the creation of the Hydrogen category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Once again, Endurance demonstrates its ​commitment to sustainable mobility, in line with automotive players. I would like to salute this challenge from Toyota, the vision of these men and women.”

Toyota has been competing using a hydrogen-engine Corolla in the Super Taikyu Series since Round 3 of the 2021 season and raced the same car in the IDEMITSU 1500 SUPER ENDURANCE 2022 at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit in December 2022.

The Corolla recently competed in the Fuji 24-hour event, the first time a car running on liquid hydrogen competed in racing.

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