Toyota to debut low-downforce Le Mans-spec TS050 at Spa WEC round
|By Gary Watkins||Saturday, April 1st 2017, 09:15 GMT|
Toyota will give a race debut to the Le Mans 24 Hours version of its latest TS050 HYBRID at the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship alongside two high-downforce cars.
Toyota Motorsport GmbH team director Rob Leupen said that the additional TS050 HYBRID entered for Le Mans would run in the low-downforce configuration launched today at Monza at the second round of the WEC in Belgium on May 6.
Its two regular WEC entries will compete at Spa in high-downforce trim.
"With the extra entry, we will put a low-downforce car out at Spa, which will be the third car," said Leupen.
"We want to improve on the preparation we have had for Le Mans in previous years."
Leupen confirmed that Toyota would race at Silverstone with its high-downforce aero package.
"We are committed to the WEC and to run a low-downforce car at Silverstone does not make any sense," he explained.
Toyota has launched its 2017 WEC programme with its latest TS050 in Le Mans trim and is running two cars in that spec during this weekend's official pre-season test at Monza.
TMG technical director Pascal Vasselon explained that it made sense to test in Le Mans trim at a track with the characteristics of Monza and because development of this version of the TS050 HYBRID was behind that of the high-downforce variant.
Porsche has also unveiled it 2017 919 Hybrid in low-downforce configuration but has yet to announce what specification it will run at the either of the two pre-Le Mans rounds of the WEC at Silverstone in April and Spa in May.
New rules limiting each manufacturer to two aero packages a season means there is little scope for development once the configuration is homologated prior to its first race.