Toyota hopes an all-new aerodynamic kit will aid recovery from its Le Mans “heartache” as the FIA World Endurance Championship resumes at the Nurburgring this weekend.
The #5 car of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, and Kazuki Nakajima lost victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with just five minutes remaining due to a technical failure within its turbo system.
Like LMP1 rivals Porsche and Audi, Toyota will debut what it calls an "ultra-high-downforce aerodynamic package" this weekend.
Updated front and rear bodywork has been developed in the wind tunnels at its HQ in Cologne to generate additional downforce at the cost of top speed, a combination which is better suited to the demands of the upcoming WEC circuits.
“After putting the heartache of Le Mans behind me, I am definitely more fired up than ever to get back behind the wheel of our TS050 HYBRID,” said Davidson, whose car also retired while leading in the previous WEC round at Spa.
“Nurburgring is a circuit I really enjoy, and hopefully the car will be as competitive as it was in the last two races.”
Buemi added: “Out of the three races we were leading, two of those [were] until very late so I’m very confident that we will have a good performance level at Nurburgring as well.
“We all know how hard Le Mans was, but this is behind us and it’s time to look to the rest of the season.”
Sister car in championship hunt
Mike Conway, who shares the #6 sister car with Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi, thinks the upcoming race could set the tone for the remainder of the season.
“It will be interesting to see who will have the right package there, as it is a high downforce circuit so we will come with revised aerodynamics,” he said.
The #6 car finished second at Le Mans, and is now third in the drivers’ championship – just a point behind the second-placed Audi.
Kobayashi added: “We have a different car now, with more downforce, so we have to work hard to get the best performance from it.
“The team did that really well with our Le Mans package so I am confident we can do that again.”