Peugeot’s departure from the Le Mans race series was a big surprise for everyone, as they are the home team when the highlight event is running at their backyard at the Circuit de la Sarthe. But with that, does it mean that the Four Rings could run Le Mans unchallenged? That is not going to happen as when one steps down, a new player steps in to fill in the gap. And the one that had just filled the gap is from the Japanese giant, Toyota.
And the one on Toyota’s arsenal in challenging Audi’s race-proven Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) R-18 e-tron Quattro in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans is their all-new TS030 that features the new Kinetic energy Reserve System (KERS) regenerative braking device, making it the first hybrid car to enter the FIA World Endurance Championship. So they are new in the LMP1 class and it has been years since their entry with their Toyota GT-One. Will they be able to make it on top?
And through the qualifying sheet, it looks pretty promising for the newcomers as they had just qualified for the third and fifth position on the grid, with Audi taking first, second, fourth and sixth grid position. Of course, when it comes to endurance racing, one should not only be equipped with proper speed and power to reach the chequered flag as strategy also comes into play such as driver stints and tire choice. Audi did start their 2008 race in the fourth and fifth position on the grid, but emerged victorious 24 hours later.
So will Toyota be making a surprising victory above the Le Mans veteran? Or will the dominating Audi prove that experience is the best weapon there is for this event? We will be bringing the results of Toyota’s daring venture into the endurance racing world, so do stick around!