Keeping it real Highcroft Racing’s
Delta Wing Le Mans racer was unveiled
at Petit Le Mans. Riding on Michelin
tires, its turbo engine will feed its 300hp
through a custom EMCO gearbox.
“You can feel the extra power,” said driver Stephane Sarrazin of the HYbrid 4’s energy recovery system. “It will be up to us to harness it in the most competitive way.”
PEUGEOT SWINGS BOTH WAYS
Having led the diesel charge at Le Mans, French marque
adds hybrid tech amid another crackdown on oil burners
TOYOTA TO STAGE
A 24 REMAKE
All-new LMP1 for Le Mans
will be a gasoline hybrid
Toyota has confirmed that it will make a
return to the Le Mans 24 Hours next
year with a brand-new hybrid LMP1 car
of its own design. It is the auto maker’s
first full factory Le Mans bid since its
GT-One car of 1998 and ’99 (see DNA
on page 82).
The new car, which will run on
gasoline, will enter several other World
Endurance Championship rounds
alongside Le Mans. Its chassis will be
constructed by Toyota Motorsport
GmbH – its former F1 operation – with
the engine coming from Toyota Motor
Corporation in Japan. Like Peugeot,
Toyota will use the program to promote
its hybrid technology as well.
“Toyota has entered Le Mans before
but using our hybrid technology this
time will be a completely new challenge,”
said TMG chairman Tadashi Yamashina.
“We aim to learn from the experience of
competing in such a challenging
motorsport environment to enhance
our production car technology.”
As international sports car racing braces for the
reconstituted World Endurance Championship, Peugeot
prepared for major changes of its own as it track-tested
a diesel-hybrid version of its 908 sports prototype. The 908
H Ybrid 4 completed some 200 promising and trouble-free miles
of running at Estoril, according to the French marque.
Peugeot’s hybrid venture comes amid rule changes that will
further hinder diesel-powered prototypes. The latter have had the
diameter of their air restrictors reduced by 16mm for single-restrictor engines and 11mm for double, and their supercharger
pressure cut by 200 millibars. In addition, the capacity of diesel
fuel tanks will be reduced by five liters, from 65 to 60.
Safety improvements have also been
implemented following several heavy
crashes at Le Mans this year. Changes
include making the “shark fin” design
mandatory on all LMP1, LMP2 and FLM
cars, and making openings above the
front and rear wheels. With the
exception of LMP1s, rear-view mirrors
will be increased in size and also have a
night mode, while the rear camera
system will be made mandatory for GTE
cars and available for all others.
New Toyota will run on gas rather than diesel, and incorporate hybrid tech.
The intense duel between Peugeot and Audi at Petit Le Mans was truncated on ABC, but a lot more people saw it than previous years’ full coverage, according to the ALMS.
Fewer TV hours, but a lot more viewers this year