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Toyota gets Kobayashi for WEC and upgrades new TS050 Hybrid

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Toyota gets Kobayashi for WEC
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F he WEC season 2015 was sobering for Toyota. The Japanese, whose WEC activities are controlled by TMG in Cologne, were clearly number 3 behind Porsche and Audi. Neither in the races for the World Sports Car Championship nor in the 24h classic in Le Mans did they stand a chance against the German competition. A year earlier it looked different. But the technology stopped Toyota - especially tearfully at Le Mans.

New engine, new hybrid system, new transmission, new chassis

In 2016 the picture should turn again when it comes to the Japanese taste goes. Internal calculations have shown that you have to find around 5 seconds over the winter. For this you arm yourself vigorously. Because the naturally aspirated V8 had the disadvantage of the modern turbo engine from Porsche, Toyota is now switching to a supercharged engine itself. In all likelihood, a V6 twin-turbo with 2.4 liter displacement will be used - shouldn't there be another bigger surprise.

The hybrid system of the TS050 Hybrid will also be completely new. Toyota is switching from supercapacitors to batteries for energy storage, thereby moving up to Porsche in the 8-MJ class. The new drive requires a new gearbox and, at the same time, a new chassis, because the drive modules are different and they have to be placed differently. Keyword: packaging and cooling. Toyota will not reveal the exact technical details until the prologue test on March 24th at the Paul Ricard Circuit.

Kobayashi for Wurz

Not only the technology is changed, there is also something new in the paintwork. From the coming season, the new TS050 will change from the blue-white-red paintwork of the TS040 to a white-red-black paint coat. The new design, which should match the new appearance of Toyota Gazoo Racing, was unveiled on Thursday (February 4th, 2016) - but still on a 2015 show car.

Because driver Alex Wurz has ended his career, it is necessary also a new driver. It was found in Kamui Kobayashi. The former Formula 1 driver, who contested 77 GP weekends for Toyota, BMW-Sauber, Sauber and Caterham, will share a car with St├ęphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway. The other TS050 Hybrid is driven by Anthony Davidson, S├ębastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

'I was able to test the TS040 HYBRID a few times and was very impressed. The power of the hybrid system was particularly impressiveincredible. Now I can't wait to drive the new car. I am sure that it will bring us another big step forward - back into the fight at the top, 'said Kobayashi.

' For the 2016 season we again have a very strong line-up of drivers. The decision in favor of Kamui was easy for us; he impressively demonstrated his speed and commitment in the tests, 'explained team boss Toshio Sato.' 2016 is a particularly important season for us. We have the drivers and the car to make it a successful season. '

The goal: the long-awaited Le Mans victory and the return to the WEC throne.

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