The Japanese automaker, running their works team as Toyota Gazoo Racing, is poised to enter the 2016 World Endurance Championship (WEC) in their new TS050 Hybrid LMP1 Prototype.
As its name suggests, the TS050 Hybrid will run in the LMP1 Class of the WEC, the highest tier of endurance racing recognized by the FIA. Two cars, wearing numbers 5 and 6, will enter the class to compete against former champions Porsche and Audi.
The #5 car will see Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, and Kazuki Nakajima behind the wheel while the #6 TS050 Hybrid will be piloted by Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway, and Kamui Kobayashi. Kobayashi, Buemi, and Nakajima may ring a bell as they were all former Formula One drivers at some point in their careers.
Currently Toyota has yet to divulge any technical specifications of the TS050. Last June however Toyota confirmed it is working on a new powerplant to replace the 3.7 liter naturally aspirated V8 found in the TS040. As for its hybrid system, the car will be recovering energy using both front and rear axles as opposed to harvesting exhaust gasses like that of Porsche’s prototype.
Ultimately, we will have to wait until Toyota reveals details on the TS050 on March 24th, a day before the WEC pre-season testing, at the Paul Ricard test track in France.