Toyota to maintain one-lap stint advantage at Le Mans

Toyota will once again be able to go one lap longer between fuel stops than its privateer LMP1 rivals at the Le Mans 24 Hours later this month.

Toyota to maintain one-lap stint advantage at Le Mans

The re-imposition of the advantage on stint length that Toyota had at Le Mans last year has been confirmed with the publication of the latest Equivalence of Technology (EoT).

It means that the Toyota TS050 Hybrids will be able to complete 11 laps of the 13.626km Circuit de la Sarthe during green-flag running and the non-hybrid entries from Rebellion, SMP Racing, ByKolles and DragonSpeed 10 laps.

Longer refuelling stints for Toyota were part of the original EoT implemented at the start of the 2018/19 WEC season along with a theoretical 0.25 percent advantage in laptime. 

The Japanese manufacturer subsequently agreed to these being removed ahead of the Fuji WEC round last October as the rulemakers struggled make the privateer LMP1s competitive. 

But Toyota stressed at the time that it had not agreed to the changes, which also included wiping out the advantage it had in refuelling time, for Le Mans. 

Read Also:

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon described the differences in fuel usage allowed to the Toyotas and the privateers as "massive".

"We are talking about something like 35 percent," he said. "We could not dream about a better demonstration of the efficiency advantage that a hybrid system brings."

The revised diameters of the refuelling restrictors in LMP1 are designed to give the Toyotas a two-second advantage in the pits, though at least one independent has privately stated that this is likely to be nearer five seconds. 

The maximum petrol per stint for privateers is now 50.8kg for normally-aspirated cars and 48.4kg for turbos. Those figures at the last round of the WEC at Spa were respectively 56.5kg and 52.8kg.

Vasselon has also clarified previous comments about the removal of the 26kg increase in minimum weight for the Toyotas ahead of Fuji, explaining that it was always intended that this would be revised rather than removed for Le Mans. 

This reflects the lower amounts of hybrid energy deployment and fuel allowed per kilometre at Le Mans than at the shorter WEC races.

The Toyotas will now run 10kg heavier than at Le Mans last year to remove the 0.25 percent advantage, which is equivalent to half a second at Le Mans.

Vasselon described the half-second as "a kind of safeguard" that reflected Toyota's perceived potential of the privateer cars for last year's race.

"Now we do not need the safeguard; now we are down to zero," he said. 

Toyota was able negotiate the series of advantages because the technical rule changes under the EoT did not conform to the FIA's stability statutes. Its agreement was required for any revisions to the rules.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso, Brendon Hartley, Mike Conway

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso, Brendon Hartley, Mike Conway

Photo by: Marc Fleury

shares
comments
Lotterer: It was "naive" to think LMP1 EoT could work

Previous article

Lotterer: It was "naive" to think LMP1 EoT could work

Next article

Le Mans legends: How Aston Martin claimed victory in 1959

Le Mans legends: How Aston Martin claimed victory in 1959
Load comments

About this article

Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Teams Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC
Author Gary Watkins
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020