Toyota admits to reliability concerns ahead of Le Mans

Toyota has admitted to concerns over the reliability of its new FIA World Endurance Championship contender ahead of next month's Le Mans 24 Hours.

The admission follows its pair of GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercars suffering delays in last Sunday's Monza WEC round. 

The race-winning #7 entry shared by Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez lost a minute with an electronic problem that required Kobayashi to bring the car to a complete halt on track to undertake a full reboot of its systems. 

Read Also:

The #8 GR010 of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley lost nearly an hour with a fuel-system issue and also required a new front corner on the way to last place, 43 laps behind the sister car. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon conceded that the team knows it "has some work to do" prior to the official Le Mans test day the week ahead of the double-points WEC round on August 21/22.

"Yes we are worried, but somehow it is business as usual for a racing team," he said. "We have to get to the bottom of the two issues."

Vasselon explained that Toyota's focus will be on rig testing between now and Le Mans, ruling out scheduling additional track testing.

The only run planned for the GR010s between now and Le Mans is Toyota's traditional pre-race shakedown at Spa, which will take place in early August.

"We need really to understand what has happened, then generate the conditions that are suspected to be the critical ones on the rig," he said.

"We have done 30,000km with the car; you cannot say you will organise a test and it [the problem] will happen."

 

Vasselon described the issue on #7 as a "control unit glitch which needed a global recycle". 

Kobayashi received an error message on the dashboard, pulled over onto the side of the track and went through the prescribed procedures to reset the car's systems before continuing without problems. 

The problem on #8 was not fully understood by Toyota in the immediate aftermath of the Monza race. 

Vasselon called it "essentially a fuel system issue which is not exactly clear", adding: "We don't know what is causing it — it was not an electrical issue."

The car was initially brought into its garage for approximately four minutes while Toyota tried to understand the issue and the full fuel system was subsequently changed with the loss of just under 50 minutes.

Vasselon admitted that the right front corner had to be changed on #8 because the wheel had not been tightened properly when the car was in the garage for the first time. He called it a "side-effect" which damaged the hub. 

The new Toyotas ran without major issues through the opening two rounds of the 2021 at Spa and Portimao.

shares
comments

Related video

WRT has "regrets" about losing maiden WEC win at Monza
Previous article

WRT has "regrets" about losing maiden WEC win at Monza

Next article

Ferrari hopes to race hypercar in IMSA following WEC convergence

Ferrari hopes to race hypercar in IMSA following WEC convergence
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021