Lopez impressed by “complex” Toyota Le Mans Hypercar reliability

The reliability of Toyota's new Le Mans Hypercar has impressed FIA World Endurance Championship title winner Jose Maria Lopez across its first two tests.

Lopez impressed by “complex” Toyota Le Mans Hypercar reliability
Listen to this article

Lopez, co-champion in the 2019/20 WEC with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, described the reliability of the Japanese manufacturer's 2021 hybrid prototype as “quite impressive” at the conclusion of its second outing at the Algarve circuit in Portugal this week.

“Already, the first tests were quite good for us,” said Lopez. “We managed to do a lot of miles and the reliability of the car was very good. With a complex car like this, it was quite impressive for the first tests to do a lot of mileage.

“The team has worked on this technology for a long time and has done a brilliant job.”

Read Also:

The Toyota LMH, a name for which has yet to be announced, undertook three days of testing at the Algarve track from Wednesday to Friday of this week. This run followed a shakedown for the car at Paul Ricard at the end of October, prior to the final round of the 2019/20 WEC in Bahrain the following month.  

Lopez, Conway, Sebastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley drove the sole car present in Portugal across the three days.  

Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries, Toyota's nominated test and reserve driver, joined the team for the final day of running on Friday.  

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon described the three days at the circuit near Portimao as “another productive test of our new Hypercar”.

“We have made more good progress on our various testing tasks; our understanding of the new car’s characteristics increases with every day of running, thanks to plenty of data, as well as constructive feedback from the drivers,” he said. 

“We are still at an early stage of the track testing programme, so there is a lot of work to do before Sebring [for the scheduled opening round of the 2021 WEC in March] but we can be satisfied with our work this week.”

Toyota Hypercar

Toyota Hypercar

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Sébastien Buemi, Toyota Hypercar

Sébastien Buemi, Toyota Hypercar

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Toyota's new LMH ran for the first time in wet conditions on the opening day of the test, but Vasselon revealed that “luckily we saw the sun and decent temperatures for the remaining two days”.

Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima did not take part in the Portuguese test because they are competing in this weekend's Super Formula finale at Fuji Speedway. The Japanese duo were also absent from the Ricard shakedown because they had been racing in the Japanese series the previous weekend at Sugo.

The car ran in livery for the first time this week ahead of a virtual launch planned for mid-January when Toyota will reveal technical details. It has so far only put out teaser shots of the car running in camouflage at Paul Ricard, but the car will bear a resemblance to the GR Super Sport road car being developed in parallel with the racer.

shares
comments

Related video

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era
Previous article

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Next article

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home
Load comments
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021