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Gary Watkins

Toyota reveals updated GR010 Hybrid for 2023 WEC season

The evolutions undertaken on the Toyota GR010 Hybrid for the 2023 WEC season are centred on driveability, serviceability and reliability, Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon has revealed. 

Aerodynamic changes to the car unveiled on Friday include new dive-planes at the front and wing endplates at the rear. The bodywork revisions were conceived to create a more consistent racing car within a rule book that puts strict limits on aerodynamic efficiency, Vasselon explained.

“Using the fact that the aero figures are not too difficult to achieve, we tried to have them as consistent as possible,” he said. 

“We have not been working on pure aero efficiency, [rather] aero consistency, trying to help driveability.”

The GR010 has also undergone major revisions to its brake cooling to increase the ease of adjustability during the races, Vasselon revealed.

“Within a balanced category, one of the items related to racecraft is serviceability of the car,” he explained. 

“In the past two seasons, we have been at times struggling to adjust the brake cooling: it was taking a long time to blank or to open the cooling duct. 

“Here, we went to a different cooling duct arrangement, so we can add or remove blanking very easily.”

Toyota GR010 Hybrid (Photo by: Toyota Racing)

Reliability improvements have been “made in all areas”, according to Vasselon, and “include a lot of small evolutions”. 

The problem with the ECU that required the GR010 to undergo full resets while stationary “has hopefully been fully addressed now”, Vasselon said. This was the problem that removed the #7 Toyota from contention for victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year. 

The weight of the GR010 has been brought down close to the 1040kg minimum for a four-wheel-drive LMH.  Vasselon said that majority of the saving had been made “towards the rear in the powertrain”, without disclosing the new or previous weights of the GR010. 

The Toyota raced at between 1070kg and 1053kg under the Balance of Performance in 2022.

Vasselon explained that Toyota wanted to be prepared for movement in the BoP over the course of 2023 when new LMDh prototypes from Porsche and Cadillac, as well as Ferrari's 499P LMH, join the WEC. 

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“We don’t know what our BoP will be, so we just wanted to be able to run at the minimum weight in case it is required,” he said. 

“This is why it was important to come close to 1040kg, even if at times we may have to carry BoP ballast.”

The GR010 ended up weighing in well above 1040kg because it was designed to a higher weight minimum. 

Toyota GR010 Hybrid (Photo by: Toyota Racing)

LMH rules originally set a class minimum of 1100kg before the significant reduction as part of the convergence process with LMDh in mid-2020, a time when the first GR010s were already in build.  

Development is strictly controlled in the lifecycle of the LMH rule book and only five modifications can be made to a design in the name of performance, which are known as evo jokers. 

Toyota has not revealed how many of its allocation of evo jokers it has so far employed. 

It is known that Toyota’s switch of wheel and tyre sizes on the GR010 for 2022 was not counted as one because it was a reaction of the rule changes linked to LMH/LMDh convergence.

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