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Discussion Starter #1
2020 Le Mans 24-Hours







The TS050 Hybrid, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans races consecutively in 2018 and 2019, has undergone a high level of improvement in its power train, including material of high power lithium battery cells and electrolytic solution. Further improvements have been made in reliability and battery deterioration prevention in preparation for the 2019-2020 season, in order to make it possible to use the hybrid boost until the end of the race. While there are no major modifications to the engine, several improvements have been made to reduce friction.

With regards to aerodynamics, the shape of the front of the chassis has been revamped with a high nose and embedded side mirrors. This will reduce drag and improve downforce, and is expected to increase their competitiveness through improved aerodynamics.



Compared with last season's non-hybrid cars, the TS050 Hybrid must now comply with Equivalence of Technology (EoT), and the weight of the hybrid car has increased by 36kg in the eighth race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when compared to the first race. Instant fuel flow for the non-hybrids was raised by 43.75%. Through EoT, the difference in ability between the hybrids and the non-hybrids has decreased, and we may see more updates depending on what happens this season. Additionally, this season will see the implementation of the success handicap, which makes adjustments based on how many points one has accumulated by the previous race. All the while, the TS050 Hybrid has refined its chassis and finer components for further improvements in its capabilities and the reliability of all of its parts, contributing to Toyota's mission to make ever-better cars.











As well as earning its place in the history books as TOYOTA’s first Le Mans winner and the fastest car ever on the Circuit de la Sarthe courtesy of Kamui Kobayashi’s pole position lap in 2017, the TS050 HYBRID has set new standards in terms of efficiency.

An impressive 60% of braking energy is recovered, delivering around 3000MJ of hybrid boost over the course of the 24 hours, which represents an increase of 150% since 2012. In parallel, fuel consumption has been reduced by 35% from 2012 to 2019 while lap times improved by around 10 seconds per lap in the same period.

Two TS050 HYBRIDs will fight against four other LMP1 machines in the 60-car grid, with the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) titles in the balance as well.

Le Mans is the penultimate round of the 2019-2020 WEC season and the #7 TS050 HYBRID crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, who won last month at Spa, lead the standings by 12 points. Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, winners at Le Mans for the last two years, and team-mate Brendon Hartley, are second, with 51 points available next weekend.

This year marks only the fourth time in its 97-year history the Le Mans 24 Hours has been scheduled outside of June; the very first race in 1923 was in May while the 1956 edition was held in July and domestic issues in France forced the 1968 contest to take place in September. It is, however, the first time that no spectators are permitted to enter the circuit, depriving the event of a unique atmosphere generated by over 250,000 passionate endurance racing fans.

That is not the only break with tradition at Le Mans this year; the popular city centre scrutineering and drivers’ parade activities will not take place, while the track action runs to a revised timetable. Almost 11 hours of practice and qualifying are scheduled for Thursday 17 September in what promises to be a gruelling day for drivers and team members. Following a one-hour practice on Friday morning, the starting grid will be determined by the new hyperpole session, which sees the top six cars from each class battle for pole position.

TOYOTA will be chasing its sixth pole position, and fourth in succession, to move level in the all-time records list with Peugeot in third place and earn the ideal starting spot for Saturday’s race, which begins at 2.30pm and will run in darkness for almost half of the 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #3




At more than 300 km/h, the Porsche 911 RSR hurtles down the D338 road from Le Mans towards Tours. In the two chicanes, which are closed off for everyday traffic and are a favourite spot for speed cameras, the ca. 515-hp GTE sports car takes the kerbs hard. Then, as fast as possible through the Mulsanne Corner and Indianapolis to the famous Arnage – the slowest passage of the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures. Exiting out of Arnage, the driver hits the throttle early, and now needs every ounce of courage and experience. In a few seconds, the Porsche Curves loom into sight. Five ultra-fast direction changes that are both loved and feared by drivers, and represent the most spectacular section of the French endurance classic.



Le Mans is known around the world for its long straights and famous passages. Corners like Tertre Rouge and iconic features like the Dunlop Bridge get adrenalin pumping in the hearts of endurance fans. However, there is another section that features even higher on the spectators’ list of favourites: the Porsche Curves. Originally, only the long right-hander (Turn 23) after the Arnage curve was given the name Porsche. Now, this title also encompasses Virage du Pont, Esses du Karting and Virage Corvette. The flowing combination of two right-hand and three left-hand turns throws major challenges at teams and drivers – when it comes to downforce and grip, the racing cars reach their absolute limit.



“It’s definitely the most demanding passage at Le Mans – and it’s also the one that is the most fun for drivers,” says Jörg Bergmeister. The long-standing works driver and today’s Porsche brand ambassador scored a GTE-Am class win at Le Mans in 2019 with the Project 1 customer team. “Although the cars are set-up for low downforce for the long straights, we shoot through the curves doing over 200 km/h in the Porsche 911 RSR,” describes the tall German. The 1.029-kilometre stretch between track marshals 30 and 33 is over in a brisk 17.6 seconds. Despite constant cornering, the average speed lies at over 210 km/h. “We take the first right-hander in fourth gear, change up to fifth for the next two left-handers, then back down to fourth. It’s a real spectacle,” explains Bergmeister, who has contested 17 Le Mans races between 2002 and 2019.



“If you want to be fast over an entire lap at Le Mans, you have set a very fast pace on the long Mulsanne straight,” emphasises the head of operations Alexander Stehlig. “We aim to reach over 300 km/h on the straights. This makes overtaking easier, and that’s important at Le Mans. To do this, the Porsche 911 RSR – like all other cars – is trimmed for very low drag. This means little downforce. It’s a dilemma, because we actually need maximum downforce, particularly in the fast Porsche Curves,” states the engineer. Why is the setup not adjusted to the requirements of the fast corners? The potential lap-time gain would never be able to offset the disadvantages of a slower pace on the long straights.



“Based on the low downforce setup, we still have to ensure that the car is well balanced for cornering,” says Stehlig. “And that’s tricky because, through the Porsche Curves, drivers play with the throttle pedal. Sometimes they drive at half-throttle, sometimes they go full-throttle. That results in load changes and so-called pitching – where the front of the car sinks as soon as there’s less thrust. This shifts the aerodynamic balance forward. The car then turns in quickly, but this can easily lead to oversteer, and no one really needs that there. So we make sure that the aerodynamic baseline is as stable as possible and therefore the car remains predictable. That’s the key to success on this part of the track.”



In the five curves, the speed fluctuates within the narrow range of 189 to 228 km/h. In each curve, the centrifugal forces reach 2.29 to 2.42 g. Other data also underscores just how fast the Porsche Curves are: The good one-kilometre-long stretch makes up 7.5 per cent of the entire lap. It takes the 911 RSR just 17.6 seconds to get through the five-curve combination at speed – which translates to around four per cent of the entire lap time, or an average of around 3:50 minutes for the GTE-Pro racers. In keeping with the name of this spectacular passage, speed is the trump card. Under normal conditions, the best place for fans to watch the action is from the nearby ferris wheel. “From that vantage point, everyone can see that it’s not simply about gentle sweeps. The Porsche Curves are tight, you experience brutal g-forces. From the cockpit, the barriers, which are often very close to the track, make the legendary passage look even faster. It’s a dream for real racers,” enthuses Bergmeister.



“For me, driving through the Porsche Curves is like dancing with the car,” Gianmaria Bruni says about his experience. The works driver from Italy knows exactly how to master the world-famous passage at the absolute limit. In 2018, Bruni turned a sensational lap on the way to pole position. At the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR, he lapped the 13.626-kilometre circuit in just 3:47.504 minutes – and promptly set a record for GTE vehicles. “When something like that works and you cover this part of the racetrack with its five corners in just 17.3 seconds, it’s hugely satisfying for us drivers. For me, there’s hardly a better feeling,” explains the three-time Le Mans class winner. “It only happens when everything comes together perfectly: Fresh tyres in the optimal operating window, ideal wind direction and no overtaking traffic in the Porsche Curves,” adds the Monaco resident.



As soon as two vehicles meet in the fast passage, time will be lost. “When you encounter a slower car, it’s hard to get past. If it’s a prototype that overtakes you, downforce is lost for a moment, you get annoying understeer and at least two-tenths of a second go down the drain,” says Bruni. Since the vehicle has to be perfectly balanced through the Porsche Curves, understeer costs speed. Completely reliable turn-in is essential for the swift changes in direction at over 200 km/h – for safety reasons, as well. “The barriers and run-off zones were changed again and again in recent years, but the basic characteristics have remained almost the same. The Porsche Curves represent an old-school passage,” emphasises Jörg Bergmeister. “Which means, even with sealed run-off zones and the SAFER barriers, sliding off the track there will very probably result in a write-off. Therefore, a controlled attack is the key to the Porsche Curves.”



The long night means a longer period with cooler asphalt and air temperatures. As a result, the #Porsche #911RSR engines can run longer at an optimal level. Rule of thumb: If the ambient temperature drops by 5°C, the output of the engine increases by 1 %







 

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Discussion Starter #6
Success penalties are not used at Le Mans, where the Toyota TS050 Hybrids are operating to identical technical parameters outlined in the LMP1 Equivalence of Technology.

The Toyotas have been handicapped by different amounts at most of the races held so far in the 2019-20 WEC, which has often produced large gaps between them on track.

The only opportunities to race on an even technical footing have come at the Silverstone season-opener, the 4 Hours of Shanghai where the manufacturer’s crews arrived tied on points, and the handicap-exempt round at Le Mans.






















 

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Discussion Starter #8
Le Mans Qualifying Records

  • LMP1 : 3’14’’791 par Kamui Kobayashi en 2017 avec Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • LMP2 : 3’24’’842 par Paul-Loup Chatin en 2018 avec Idec Sport
  • LMGTE Pro : 3’47’’504 par Gianmaria Bruni en 2018 avec Porsche GT Team










 

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Discussion Starter #11
Le Mans (13.626 km) Practice/Qualifying Lap Times

LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#7) _ 3:15.267

LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#1) _ 3:15.822 (non-hybrid LMP1 record)

LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#22) _ 3:24.528 (LMP2 record)

LMP3 Ligier JS P320-Nissan V8 460hp 950kg (#23) _ 3:47.025

LMGTE Aston Martin Vantage V8 Turbo 500hp 1246kg (#95) _ 3:50.872

LMGTE Porsche 911 RSR-19 F6 500hp 1286kg (#91) _ 3:50.874

LMGTE Ferrari 488 V8 Turbo 500hp 1279kg (#51) _ 3:51.115

Weight does not include driver and fuel.














































 

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Discussion Starter #12
LMP1 EOT



LMP1-Hybrid

Max Released Energy: 8 MJ per lap

Max Released Power: 300 kW (402 hp)

Min Weight: 895 kg

Max Fuel Energy: 124.9 MJ per lap

Max Fuel Flow: 80 kg per hour

Max Fuel per Stint: 35.2 kg

Max Fuel Rig Diameter (pit stop refuel): 19 mm



LMP1 Non-Hybrid Normally Aspirated

Max Released Energy: 0

Max Released Power: 0

Min Weight: 816 kg

Max Fuel Energy: unlimited

Max Fuel Flow: 115 kg per hour

Max Fuel per Stint: 55.5 kg

Max Fuel Rig Diameter (pit stop refuel): 24.1 mm

















 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rebellion Racing's Gustavo Menezes posted a lap of 3m15.822s in 'Hyperpole' session to get within 0.555s of the pole time established by Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi, also marking the fastest-ever time of the Circuit de la Sarthe for a non-hybrid car.

It came after the #1 Rebellion R-13 shared by Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato suffered a problem with its Gibson engine that forced the trio to sit out the second practice session on Thursday ahead of first qualifying.

Having had limited running going into Hyperpole, Menezes admitted that he was surprised to post such a quick laptime, one that puts Rebellion ahead of the second Toyota on the grid.

"It was a dramatic start for us with the blown engine in FP2," Menezes told Motorsport.com. "I went into this morning feeling fairly ok, but not extremely in the rhythm to put together a lap.

"I did FP4, I did two timed laps, and I hadn’t driven new tyres, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure of what kind of pace gain we would have. But coming around Turn 1 and 2, my eyes opened. I thought, ‘oh my gosh, the car is incredible, it’s time to push a little bit’.

"Every time I came around a turn, the delta got faster. We got one perfectly clear lap and when I came out of the Ford chicane, I saw on the dash ‘3m15s’ and I thought, ‘oh my gosh, that must be one of the three or four fastest times around Le Mans'.

"It was an extremely clean lap and I don’t know how much I had left. It was pretty damn close to a perfect lap. The balance of the car was there today.

"We went into qualifying thinking a top four would be good, and we got on the front row. It really surprised everyone, including myself, so really happy with it."










 

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Discussion Starter #14
Le Mans (13.626 km) Qualifying/Race Sector Times





Sector 1

LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#1) _ 30.777

LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#7) _ 30.780

LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#22) _ 31.909

LMGTE Aston Martin Vantage V8 Turbo 500hp 1246kg (#97) _ 35.702 (Race)



Sector 2

LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#7) _ 1:14.296

LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#3) _ 1:15.525

LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#33) _ 1:18.753

LMGTE Aston Martin Vantage V8 Turbo 500hp 1246kg (#97) _ 1:28.012 (Race)



Sector 3

LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#1) _ 1:29.312

LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#7) _ 1:29.591

LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#26) _ 1:33.621

LMGTE Ferrari 488 V8 Turbo 500hp 1289kg (#61) _ 1:45.698



Aston Martin was sandbagging in qualifying.

Aston Martin race fastest lap _ 3:50.321



LMP1









LMP2





LMGTE



 

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Discussion Starter #15
Le Mans (13.626 km) Race



1, LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#8) _ 387 laps _ 36 pit stops _ 10.5 laps/stint

2. LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#1) _ 382 laps _ 36 pit stops _ 10.3 laps/stint

5. LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#22) _ 370 laps _ 38 pit stops _ 9.5 laps/stint

20. LMGTE Aston Martin Vantage V8 Turbo 500hp 1246kg (#97) _ 346 laps _ 24 pit stops _ 13.8 laps/stint

















LMP1







LMP2





LMGTE

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Le Mans (13.626 km) Practice/Qualifying/Race Top Speed



LMP1 Rebellion Oreca-Gibson V8 720hp 816kg (#3) _ 349.0 kph (216.9 mph)

LMP1-Hybrid Toyota TS050 V6 Turbo 900hp 895kg (#8) _ 339.1 kph (210.7 mph)

LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson V8 600hp 930kg (#33) _ 339.1 kph (210.7 mph)

LMGTE Aston Martin Vantage V8 Turbo 500hp 1246kg (#97) _ 305.6 kph (189.9 mph)

LMGTE Ferrari 488 V8 Turbo 500hp 1279kg (#82) _ 305.6 kph (189.9 mph)

LMGTE Porsche 911 RSR-19 F6 500hp 1286kg (#92) _ 299.7 kph (186.2 mph)



Although Rebellion has higher top speed, Toyota has better acceleration due to all-wheel-drive traction and extra hybrid power.

Toyota is quicker in Sector 2 and overtaking other cars.


























 

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Discussion Starter #17
Le Mans (13.626 km) Race _ Average of fastest 20 laps



LMP1





LMP2





LMGTE



 
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