Toyota open to entering road-going WEC hypercar

Toyota hasn't ruled out entering the FIA World Endurance Championship's new hypercar concept category with a road-based contender. 

Toyota open to entering road-going WEC hypercar

The Japanese manufacturer has revealed that it will be in a position to take advantage of the change to the 2020/21 rules announced early this month permitting road-going hypercars to race against the look-a-like prototypes originally envisaged for the category. 

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon explained that the GR Super Sport Concept unveiled in January 2018 and subsequently shown at last year's Le Mans 24 Hours could be developed into its next WEC contender.

"We will have an hypercar: you know we are developing the GR Concept [which] has been presented at Le Mans last year," he said. "We are prepared for a hypercar category." 

Toyota has previously declared its intent to continue in the WEC with a hypercar concept prototype when the new rules come into force in September 2020, but Vasselon insisted that it was too early to commit to one or other direction should it firm up its plans.

"To position ourselves, we need to have regulations," he said. "It is a bit difficult to comment because they are a work in progress."

Vasselon stressed that no timeline had been communicated regarding putting the GR Super Sport, which incorporates the running gear of the current Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car, into production. 

The change in the rules to allow road-going hypercars to race alongside the new breed of prototypes was described by Vasselon as "positive and constructive because it may open the door to more participants".

From the editor, also read:

Aston Martin: Rule change a "positive development"

Aston Martin Racing president David King offered a similar opinion about the revisions to the hypercar concept confirmed by the March meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. 

"What we all want is multiple bands competing at the top level at Le Mans," he said.  

"We have seen as a result of the challenge of getting enough people to commit to the regulations as they were that they have been opened up to hypercars.

"In principle, we are supportive of that and we think it is a positive development."

King denied that Aston had led the push for the change in the rules, but said that the marque intended to be a "constructive partner" as the rulemakers work out how to incorporate road-going machinery into the regulations. 

"We are playing an active part because we want to be there," he said. "We are interested and are working hard to evaluate various scenarios, but no decisions have been made."

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Photo by: Aston Martin

shares
comments
Sebring WEC: Toyota remains ahead in night practice

Previous article

Sebring WEC: Toyota remains ahead in night practice

Next article

Sebring WEC: Lopez keeps #7 Toyota ahead in FP3

Sebring WEC: Lopez keeps #7 Toyota ahead in FP3
Load comments
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.

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
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
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021