Unless you’ve been living under a stone these past few months, you’re probably aware that Toyota is returning to Le Mans in 2012 – replacing Peugeot as the main challenger to the all-dominant Audis (although perhaps Nissan might wish to disagree).
With a team based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), Toyota will make history by becoming the first manufacturer to build a motorsport team entirely around a hybrid powertrain, but don’t let its Prius-inspired powertrain fool you into assuming its pace is anywhere near as pedestrian.
At the official Le Mans test session last weekend, the Toyota Racing TS030 Hybrids posted fourth and fifth quickest times, setting the team up nicely for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June.
The driver line-up includes Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima for car No. 7, whilst car No. 8 will be driven by Sky Sports F1 presenter Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi.
Fox Sport’s Speed channel have been following the TS030 Hybrid’s progress and will be broadcasting their film, ‘Toyota’s Road to Le Mans’, on June 15th at 10PM eastern time (US only). Fortunately, we’ve got a preview (above) to whet your appetite whilst we wait for the race to begin a week next Saturday.