Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the Japanese marque’s top level motorsport subsidiary developed a GTE car to race in the 2012 WEC season. It had planned to race a single GTE car and a single LMP1 car that year and built cars to both specifications, the TS030 went on to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours, but the GTE car never officially existed.
A brace of pictures of the car however leaked on the internet after an employee day at TMG’s Cologne HQ, but since then little of the car has been seen or heard of. Until now.
The GTE plan was scrapped due to the logistics of running the two programmes simultaneously on the company’s return to Le Mans for the first time since 1999. The LFA was tested in May 2011 at Valencia, following a full wind tunnel test programme. There was an alternative plan to run the car for customer teams in the VLN series and at the Nürburgring 24 hours, so various setups were produced for the car, and there was also a setup for sprint racing in the FIA GT Championship, demonstrating a clear intent to sell customer cars.
The engine was a 72 degree V10, running with two 29.4mm air restrictors. Power was 475PS/560Nm of torque at 9000rpm. It had a six-speed gearbox, with an aluminium casing and was geared to 300km/h.
Despite the cancellation of the project the lessons learned with the GTE car appear to have been applied to the Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA which contested the 2013 Nurburgring 24 Hours. The full story on that car can be read below. The GTE specification car is thought to now be in Japan.
Oh well, that's too bad. Maybe they will be able to run both the LMP1 car and a GTE car based on the next SC(LF-LC). I mean, VAG will have two brands in the same friken' class(LMP1), from next year, I'm sure Toyota can handle LMP1 and GTE in the same time, with the right amount of resources.