TOYOTA Racing today announced more details of its forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship participation.

The new team, which is based at TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany, will make its race debut on 5 May in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. TOYOTA Racing intends to enter two cars at the Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June). Participation in further rounds will be confirmed soon.

A driver line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima has already been confirmed for one car while discussions are still ongoing to finalise the driver line-up for the other. Additionally, Andrea Caldarelli, from Pescara, Italy, has joined TOYOTA Racing as a junior driver.

The TS030 HYBRID is TOYOTA?s successor to the iconic TS010 and TS020 cars which participated at Le Mans with podium success during the 1990s, with TS an acronym for TOYOTA Sport.

TOYOTA is the first manufacturer to confirm its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship using a hybrid system, emphasising the pioneering approach to this technology which has seen more than 3.5 million TOYOTA hybrid vehicles sold worldwide.

The THS-R (TOYOTA Hybrid System - Racing) powertrain is designed to deliver maximum performance and features an all-new V8 3.4litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by official team partner Nisshinbo.

The team will use the TS030 HYBRID?s first test to evaluate the merits, within the current regulations, of a front motor system produced by Aisin AW and a rear motor system developed by official team partner DENSO. Those regulations limit hybrid systems to recovering a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones whilst restricting deployment to only two wheels.

Like Toyota?s full hybrid road cars, energy is generated under braking and the TS030 HYBRID can operate in electric-only mode, achieving zero emissions and zero fuel consumption.

A brand new carbon fibre LMP1 chassis has been developed and produced at TMG, where the complete car was assembled for the first time in preparation for a roll-out on 11-13 January at Paul Ricard.

During an exclusive test session at the French track, which included running in darkness, the TS030 HYBRID completed several hundred kilometres, showing an impressive level of reliability and performance for this very early stage in the car?s testing programme.

Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre both put the TS030 HYBRID through its paces at Paul Ricard, joined by 30-year-old Japanese driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who is a candidate to join the driver line-up at races where TOYOTA Racing participates with two cars.

Official partners to the TOYOTA Racing programme also include ZENT, Aisin, Nippon Steel, Takata, Toyoda Gosei and Michelin.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President:
"Of course we would love to win Le Mans; that is the dream for all competitors in this race. But we are realistic and we know we need to develop and to learn in order to compete with some very strong competition. Our target this year is to show the performance level of our car and particularly the THS-R powertrain. Hybrid is a core technology of TOYOTA so it is important to demonstrate this in a motorsport arena and we want to prove it can bring a performance advantage, both in terms of lap time and fuel efficiency. Everyone involved in designing, developing and preparing the car - both at TMG and at Motor Sport Division in Japan - has worked incredibly hard to reach this point and we are all very excited to be back on the race track again."

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director:
"The two main performance drivers of our TS030 HYBRID car are the aerodynamics and the hybrid system. The regulations for hybrid powertrains allow us to recover energy under braking and release this to improve acceleration out of a corner, delivering lap-time benefit. For any given performance level, a hybrid powertrain will achieve this with less fuel so it is an extremely relevant technology and one we are excited to be bringing to endurance racing. Another key point in our development phase has been delivering aerodynamic efficiency. The development team at TMG has worked very hard to achieve an optimum aero concept using our state-of-the-art aero development processes based on combined wind tunnel testing and CFD. Judging by the positive feedback we received during the roll-out we have a very good base on which to build in the coming weeks."

Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader:
"TOYOTA has been working on hybrid systems for motorsport for several years, during which time we have made huge progress. Now we feel ready to bring our technology to the ultimate motorsport test: the Le Mans 24 Hours. Integrating a hybrid powertrain is, of course, a different challenge compared to a ?standard? powertrain. But we have worked together with partners such as DENSO, Aisin AW and Nisshinbo to develop the THS-R technology so it is part of the overall concept of the TS030 HYBRID. This technology will be used to recover up to 500kJ between braking events, energy which can be released via either front or rear motors to deliver a performance advantage. TOYOTA?s hybrid technology has already won a 24-hour race - the Tokachi 24 Hours in 2007 - so now we are bringing the latest THS-R development to global motorsport; we know this is a technically-demanding exercise but we are well prepared for the challenge."

Alex Wurz:
"It was cool to drive the TS030 HYBRID car for the first time. Just leaving the garage on the electric power is very futuristic, then when you let the clutch go and the internal combustion engine kicks in it is like an old friend has returned! When we put on the slick tyre I could feel the car generates a very good amount of grip so I think we have a good base and I think we can turn this into a really fast car. I am definitely very happy but my nature is to also be analytical and therefore I know there is still a lot of work to be done. It?s really good to work with all the mechanics and engineers; the TOYOTA Racing team is very international and this works well. I am very comfortable in this team because they are all extremely professional, that is really clear."

Nicolas Lapierre:
"My first impression from the roll-out was positive; the chassis is really advanced and the hybrid system works very well. The TS030 HYBRID car has good reaction to the steering with quick and efficient response combined with an impressive base level of downforce which is a nice feeling for a driver. It is totally different from anything I have known before because the philosophy is different. So our roll-out was promising and we saw the car?s potential on several levels; we still have plenty of work to do but I think that we will have a strong package. We are starting from a blank page so the challenge is exciting."

Kazuki Nakajima:
"I cannot wait to drive the TS030 HYBRID for the first time. I spoke a lot with Alex and Nicolas about the car during the roll-out and it obviously has great potential. I have been doing a lot of time in the TMG driving simulator so I have got to know the car in a virtual world, as well as the Le Mans track; now it?s time to drive it for real. It is a great opportunity for me and I am thoroughly looking forward to the experience of racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship with TOYOTA Racing. To return to Le Mans with hybrid technology is a big challenge for TOYOTA but it is also a real opportunity for all the drivers and I hope my recent Super GT experience will be a benefit. It?s a great feeling to be involved in this project and I am really motivated for this season."

Technical Specifications
Designation TS030 HYBRID
Type Le Mans Prototype (LMP1)
Bodywork Carbon fibre composite
Windscreen Polycarbonate
Gearbox Transversal with 6 gears sequential
Gearbox casing Aluminium
Driveshafts Constant velocity tripod plunge-joint driveshafts
Clutch Multidisc
Differential Viscous mechanical locking differential
Suspension Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
Springs Torsion bars
Anti roll bars Front and rear
Steering Hydraulically assisted
Brakes Dual circuit hydraulic braking system, mono-block light-alloy brake calipers front and rear
Discs Ventilated front and rear in carbon
Rims Magnesium forged wheels
Front rims 14.5 x 18 inch
Rear rims 14.5 x 18 inch
Tyres Michelin radial
Front tyres 36/71-18
Rear tyres 37/71-18
Seat belt TAKATA
Length 4650mm
Width 2000mm
Height 1030mm
Fuel capacity 73 litres
Powertrain TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing (THS-R)
Engine 90° V8 normally aspirated engine
Fuel Petrol
Engine Capacity 3.4l
Valves 4
Air restrictors 1 x 43.3mm
Capacitor Nisshinbo
Front Hybrid Motor Aisin AW
Rear Hybrid Motor DENSO

About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 13 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 36 vehicles taking part. TOYOTA has finished on the podium three times, all second places. Including those results, it has finished in the top six a total of nine times. In qualifying, TOYOTA has four front-row starts to its name, including one pole positions. For 2012, TOYOTA will return to endurance racing and the FIA World Endurance Championship by entering selected rounds with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. The chassis has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 (GT-One) Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family.

  Alex Wurz Profile

Born 15 February 1974, Waidhofen an der Thaya, Austria
Height 1.87m
Weight 79kg
Best achievement Youngest Le Mans winner (1996)
Career History
1986 BMX World Championship: 1st
BMX European Championship: 2nd
1989 Austrian Kart Championship: 2nd
1991 European Formula Ford Cup: 2nd
Austrian Formula Ford Championship: 2nd
1992 European Formula Ford Cup: 1st,
Austrian Formula Ford Championship: 1st
German Formula Ford Championship: 1st
1993 Austrian Formula 3 Championship: 1st
1994-95 German Formula 3 Championship
1996 Le Mans 24 Hours (Team Joest): 1st
International Touring Car Championship (Opel): 16th
1997 Formula 1 (Benetton): 14th, FIA GT Championship (AMG Mercedes): 10th
Formula 1 (Benetton)
1998-2000 Formula 1 (McLaren): Third driver
2001-05 Formula 1 (McLaren): 17th (one race)
2006-07 Formula 1 (Williams)
2008 Formula 1 (Honda): Reserve driver
2009 Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 1st, Formula 1 (Brawn GP): Test driver
2010 Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): DNF, Sebring 12 Hours (Peugeot): 1st
2011 Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 4th, Petit Le Mans (Peugeot): 1st
Spa 1,000km (Peugeot): 1st

  Nicolas Lapierre Profile

Born 2 April 1984, Thonon-Les-Bains (France)
Height 1.70m
Weight 69 kg
Best achievement Youngest Macao F3 winner (2003)
Career History
1993 Began his career in karts
1997 European Kart Championship, CIK Cadet Class: 6th
2000-01 French Formula Renault
2002 Formula Renault Eurocup (Graff Racing): 3rd
2003 Formula 3 EuroSeries (Signature Plus): 4th
Macau Grand Prix: 1st
2004 Formula 3 EuroSeries (Signature Plus): 3rd
2005 GP2 Series (Arden International): 12th
2006 GP2 Series (Arden International): 9th
A1 Grand Prix (Team France): 1st
2007 GP2 Series (DAMS): 12th (2 wins)
Le Mans 24 Hours(Team ORECA): 9th
2008 Le Mans Series (Team ORECA): 12th
2009 Le Mans Series (Team ORECA): 6th
Le Mans 24 Hours (Team ORECA): 5th
Asian Le Mans Series (Team ORECA): 3rd
2010 Le Mans Series (Team ORECA): 2nd
Le Mans 24 Hours (Team ORECA): DNF
2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (Team ORECA)
Le Mans 24 Hours (Team ORECA): 5th
Sebring 12 Hours (Team ORECA): 1st

  Kazuki Nakajima Profile

Born 11 January 1985, Okazaki, Japan
Height 1.75m
Weight 62kg
Best achievement First Japanese F1 driver to score points at Monaco (2008)
Career History
1996 Began his career in karts
1999 Suzuka Kart Championship, ICA class: 1st
2003 Esso Formula Toyota: 1st
2004 Japanese Formula 3 Championship (TOM'S): 5th
Macau Grand Prix (TOM'S): 13th
2005 Japanese Formula 3 Championship (TOM'S): 2nd
Macau Grand Prix (TOM'S): 5th
Super GT (apr): 8th
2006 Formula 3 EuroSeries (Manor): 7th
Macau Grand Prix (Manor): DNF
2007 GP2 Series (DAMS): 6th
Formula 1 (Williams): 22nd (one race)
2008 Formula 1 (Williams): 15th
2009 Formula 1 (Williams): 20th
2011 Formula Nippon (TOM'S): 2nd
Super GT (TOM'S): 8th