Toyota Gazoo Racing will begin the defence of their FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) titles at the 1000 Miles of Sebring in Florida next week, fielding an updated GR010 Hypercar and benefiting from the support of new partners Fujitsu Limited and JFE Steel.
A successful debut season in 2021 saw the hybrid power, 700PS Hypercar win the Le Mans 24 Hours and both drivers’ and teams’ World Championships.
The 2022-specification car has different tyre and wheel sizes compared to its predecessor. At the front, 12.5 x 18inch magnesium alloy RAYS wheels carry 29/71-18 Michelin tyres while at the rear, 34/71-18 rubber is fitted to 14 x 18inch wheels.
As a result of this change, small bodywork modifications were required to maintain airflow and stay within the aerodynamic performance window required by the racing regulations. The most visible of these are enlarged rear wing end plates and engine cover fin.
While the GR010 Hybrid remains essentially unchanged under the bodywork, the settings of its 3.5-litre engine have been adjusted to accommodate new fuel made entirely from sustainable sources. Introduced for the championship this year, it is made from wine residues and agricultural material. It reduces CO2 emissions by at least 65 per cent and contributes to ongoing efforts to increase sustainability in motorsport.
This season also sees Toyota Gazoo Racing adopting a revised management structure. At Sebring, Kamui Kobayashi will participate in his first race in his new dual role, as Team Principal and driver of the No7 GR010 Hybrid, alongside fellow World Champions Mike Conway and José María López.
Kazuki Nakajima began his role of Vice Chairman at Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe, the operational base of the WEC team, in January following his retirement as a race driver. He will support team operations at races, as well as mentoring Ryo Hirakawa who joins the No8 line-up of Sébastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley. Hirakawa, who competed in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2016 and 2017, is ready for his first WEC season following comprehensive preparations at tests and in the driving simulator.
The team’s challenge in WEC is enhanced this season by two new partners, Fujitsu and JFE Steel, whose logos will be prominently displayed on the GR010 Hybrid and driver overalls. Toyota Gazoo Racing welcome Fujitsu Limited and JFE Steel, and extend their sincere thanks to all partners whose loyalty is vital to its success in WEC.
The 2022 season officially kicks off with a two-day Prologue test (12 – 13 March), which see the GR010 Hybrid take to the 3.74 mile Sebring International Raceway, the historic birthplace of American sportscar racing, for the first time.
Race week sees a true festival of endurance racing, when huge crowds gather at the former military airfield to enjoy an eight-hour WEC race on Friday evening, followed on Saturday by the 70th running of the legendary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, part of the US-based IMSA series.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s only previous visit to Sebring came in 2019, when a record crowd witnessed Buemi, Nakajima and Fernando Alonso take victory, with Conway, Kobayashi and López completing a one-two for the TS050 Hybrid. The team target a repeat of that result to make a perfect start to the 2022 season.
Season starts at Sebring for Toyota Gazoo Racing
• Manufacturer: Toyota
• Team: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
• Country: Japan
• Series: World Endurance Championship
• Class: Hypercar
• Year: 2022
• Type: Race car
• Division: Gr.1
• Engine: V6, Aisin AW / Denso Electric Motor
• Power: 670 HP / --- rpm (938 HP unlimited power output)
• Torque: --- Nm / --- rpm
• Engine location: Mid, Front
• Displacement: 3500 cc
• Construction: Aluminium alloy block and head
• Valvetrain: 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
• Aspiration: Twin Turbo (T)
• Lubrication: Dry Sump
• Fuel feed: Direct fuel injection
• 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Time: Unknown
• Top Speed: Unknown
• Power-to-weight ratio: 0.64 hp/kg (0.90 hp/kg unlimited)
• Drive: Four wheel drive (4WD)
• Chassis: Carbon-fibre composite monocoque
• Gearbox: 7 speed Sequential
• Steering: Hydraulic power steering
• Clutch: Multidisc
• Suspension: Independent front and rear double wishbone, pushrod-system
• Brakes: Akebono mono-block alloy callipers with carbon ventilated discs
• Battery: High-powered TOYOTA lithium-ion battery
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
• Lenght: 4900 mm
• Width: 2000 mm
• Height: 1150 mm
• Weight: 1040 kg