Toyota TS050 Hybrid - 2019

Cette collection est une adaptation de 24H Le Mans ® Le auto delle corsa più leggendaria al mondo Éditeur : Centauria Editore s.r.l. 

Toyota on the racetrack

Toyota's participation in competition started in the early 1970s, when it decided to take part in rallies, initially through a Europe based structure and then officially from 1982 onwards. The first World Championship victory was won in 1975 during the 1,000 Lakes Rally in Finland with the Corolla driven by Hannu Mikkola and Atso Aho.

The two TS050s dominated the 2018 Le Mans race. Number 8 was the winner with Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi completing 388 laps, closely followed by number 7 with Conway, Kobayashi and López. © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

It was towards the end of the 1980s that the Japanese firm, after having obtained homologation for its Celica GT-Four, achieved its most significant results. The car, which made its debut in 1988, became the most successful Toyota in the history of rallying. It won its first Drivers' World Championship in 1990 with Carlos Sainz (father of Ferrari's F1 driver for the 2021 season) and the Manufacturers' World Championship in 1993, 1994 and 1998; the Toyota Yaris won the 2018 title. In total, there have been four manufacturers' titles and five drivers' titles for Toyota. In 1998, the GT-One made its debut in endurance racing, achieving excellent times right from the start at Le Mans, but lacking in reliability. Of the three cars that started, only one finished, in ninth place. The following year, the brand came close to achieving the same result, even despite the fact that two cars retired. The remaining car continued to fight for victory until the very end, just one minute behind the leading car, when a puncture prevented it from finishing in a sprint, while leaving the car intact, so that following a pit stop it still managed to finish in second place. At the end of the season, the team abandoned endurance racing to concentrate on Formula 1. Toyota returned in 2013 with the new TS030 Hybrid (3.7-litre 8-cylinder engine), dropping out at Le Mans but winning three championship events. The year after Le Mans proved to be more successful, with the TS030s finishing second and fourth, while in the following races they scored two victories that ultimately secured the brand second place in the constructors' rankings, behind Audi. 

It was Toyota's first win of the 2018 edition of the French event. Until then, only one Japanese car had won at Le Mans, the Mazda with its 1991 Wankel engine.© IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

For the 2014 season, Toyota entered the TS040 Hybrid, which turned out to be even more competitive. At Le Mans, where the car was expected to win, its luck ran out. Having set the first and second fastest times during practice, both cars ran into serious difficulties. The first was involved in an accident costing it 50 minutes in the pits for repairs, while the second, then in the lead, was forced to withdraw due to electrical problems. The car that was repaired was nevertheless able to restart and finish in third place. However, the season concluded with both the manufacturer's and driver's titles. In 2015, these results were not repeated due to the supremacy of Audi and Porsche. 

The first Toyota to compete at Le Mans was the 1998 GT-One. The three cars at the start proved to be very fast but unreliable. Pictured here is the car driven by Martin Brundle, Emmanuell Collard and Éric Hélary.  © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

Revenge followed in 2016 with the debut of the TS050 Hybrid powered by a new 2.4-litre V6. After a poor start of the season, two cars were entered at Le Mans, where they were leading the race... almost the entire way to the finish. Through incredible bad luck, with just six minutes to the finish flag, the leading car suffered a loss of power and was forced to withdraw, giving way to the Porsche and the other Toyota. At the end of the season the results were meagre, with two wins and a third place in the Constructors' Championship. The troubles continued in 2017. At Le Mans, three cars were registered to beat the Porsches, who had demonstrated their superiority during practice by setting the first, second and fifth fastest times. One car was soon out of action due to various problems, the second car in the lead was forced to give up due to a clutch problem, and the third car was eliminated due to a puncture. 

In 2018, the race involved 60 cars and 180 drivers (3 per car with alternating sessions of 2 or 3 hours). The Toyota TS050 has also won subsequent editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. From 2021, the Hypercar category replaced the LMP1 category, with Toyota lining up the new GR Super Sport. © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

The sole TS050 still in the race finished eighth. Once again, the manufacturers' title escaped Toyota, finishing second in the classification. The year 2018 marked a new chapter: pole position, victory in the 24 Hours and the World Championship title. At the end of the season, Porsche's withdrawal left Toyota virtually on its own in the LMP1 category, forcing the Federation to freeze the technical regulations by unifying the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 championships. Toyota's triumphant one-two finish at Le Mans in 2019 was repeated in 2020 (in September due to the pandemic). The TS050 has become a legend! Toyota took part in other competitions as a supplier of engines for the Cart and Indy Championships from 1996 to 2002, with a number of victories, and in Formula 1 from 2002 to 2009, where it was never victorious, obtaining only a handful of podium places.

The TS050's chassis is a carbon monocoque designed by Gazoo Racing, Toyota's racing department. The F1-style steering wheel is fitted with the 7-speed sequential gearbox.© IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

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