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24h race Le Mans 2017: Toyota & amp; Porsche with three cars?

24h-Race Le Mans 2017
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W hen the makers of the Le Mans organizer ACO could take a look into the all-knowing crystal ball, then one question in particular should tickle them: Will Porsche and Toyota bring a third car to the start at Le Mans 2017 or not? Because the ACO makers are understandably worried that at the season highlight of the year there might only be four LMP1 works cars at the start, which would look a bit poor at a World Championship run with a field of 60 cars.

TMG is fighting for 3rd car with the Toyota board

Unfortunately, the crystal ball cannot answer that question at the moment. Everyone is waiting to see what Toyota will do - but they haven't decided yet. Which is unusual, because in the past we were always told that all motorsport topics are only dealt with once a year by the Toyota Executive Board and that this always takes place in the first week of November.

TMG Managing Director Rob Leupen credibly assures that it will be different this time: “We are still fighting for the third car for Le Mans, but it is difficult because Toyota has to save at the moment, first because of the negative effects of the Brexit decision and, secondly, because of the high exchange rate burdens caused by the strong yen. ”In addition, insiders suggest that the financial burdens for the LMP1 teams will increase rather than decrease after the Audi exit, which increases the pressure on the budget .

More budget at Porsche unlikely

From a sporting point of view, however, the use of a third LMP1 car in Le Mans would make sense for Toyota: Firstly, with the exit of Audi, a strong opponent will be eliminated - which increases your chances. Secondly, Toyota is making technical improvements in 2017, with the engine, the hybrid system and the aerodynamics. Toyota was already a force this year at Le Mans, and if you draw the right conclusions on the technical side, 2017 could offer the Japanese a golden opportunity to finally take the long-awaited overall victory at Le Mans - and with it the depressing gap from 2016.

And then a third car from Toyota would also ensure a very lucrative numerical superiority in a direct duel with Porsche, because VW insiders credibly assure that a budget increase for a third Porsche 919 Hybrid in the current corporate environment is to be classified as rather unlikely. Because no matter how you calculate it, a third car at Le Mans is expensive: the third driver crew needs additional test kilometers, the team a thirdMechanic crew, a test race in Spa with the low-downforce kit for Le Mans would be a must. The only theoretical plus point: Due to the Audi withdrawal, there is currently no shortage of experienced pilots to fill third cars. A decision has to be made by January, say insiders - otherwise the planning would get completely out of hand.


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