The trucks are not completely packed after the completion of the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans (view our gallery of images here), and focus has already moved onto the 2020 race. Well, that seems to be the case judging from this video of the Toyota GR Super Sport testing.
The sport’s governing body (ACO) announced new rules for the top-flight LMP1 class a few days before the 2019 event commenced. We covered the amended rules in this earlier piece.
The ACO wants to attract more manufacturers to the fold by allowing modified versions of their most extreme road cars to compete. Referred to as the “hypercar” rule set, LMP1 will soon consist of racier versions of models that wealthy owners can buy and drive on the roads. Aston and Ginetta have already confirmed the participation in this new class.
Ahead of the 2019 race, Toyota Gazoo Racing announced that it will participate in the 2020-2021 season with a hybrid-powered prototype. The team’s latest contender is based on the GR Super Sport road car. Both road- and racecar are undergoing development at the company’s technical centres in Japan and Germany. Watch the video at the bottom of this post.
A rare breed
Reigning World Endurance Champions Toyota was among the stakeholders consulted in the formulation of the new rules. It seems that the rules were decided some time ago as the Japanese auto giant already has a working prototype of its new racer.
Toyota has been steadily building its performance car portfolio over the last few years. What started with the GT86 and expanded with the Yaris GRMN now includes the new Supra. The latter will not be the halo Gazoo Racing model. That position is reserved for the Gazoo Racing Super Sport. In its history Toyota can only count only one super sportscar among its offerings, the TS020 GT-One from the late 1990s. The TS020 was also a Le Mans challenger in its day.
Toyota has yet to reveal any information about the GR Super Sport’s drivetrain or power output. Speculation has it that the Japanese hypercar will adopt a hybrid powertrain. We can’t glean too much info from the Toyota GR Super Sport testing in the video. However, the concept model unveiled last year had twin-turbocharged 2,4-litre V6 with a strong hybrid component.
In his own words
Shigeki Tomoyama, GAZOO Racing company president: “I am pleased to confirm that Toyota Gazoo Racing will continue its challenge in endurance racing beyond the current regulations. For Toyota Gazoo Racing, this new era of competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our credentials not only as a race team against some of the best in the business, but also as a sportscar manufacturer.”