Engine.it was present in the 6 Hours of Silverstone thanks to Toyota Spain and had the great opportunity to interview Alex Wurz, former driver of the Toyota Gazoo Racing and current ambassador of the brand. Throughout the talk with the two times champion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans arose different aspects related to the relevance of the brand and the WEC, although the technological evolution that has achieved Toyota in their LMP1 has been the highlight of the conversation. an Extract of the first part of the interview with Alex Wurz.
– ¿How you see the season 2017 WEC?
This season tebemos two configurations, a low-load and other high – . The kit of high ‘downforce’ are developing, we will be able to use it after Le mans. That’s why, in the first race, we have some disadvantage. In the last few races of 2016 we had an advantage, because the more you get the kit, high-load, the more you can improve. Makes us seem a little bit faster than what we will be at the end of the season. It will help us in the wet and should help us throughout the race today. If all goes well we should be the fastest, but you never know, each race brings new things, because not only are you running, are you running against other categories, and it is always something chaotic”.
– ¿What do you think about the output of Audi competition?
“Not good news, of course. This sport has been made famous thanks to the large manufacturers. Right now we are 4 with Nissan. It is a pity. Since young I have seen many of their prototypes. His style is heroic, it is really “man and machine against time”. Is simply authentic. to Lose a good opponent it’s a shame. It’s your life, you want to have opponents. The competition remains strong because it has three large legs. Has in the LMP1 super machines of technology tip. They are also very strong LMP2, where the races are still very intense and has the GT Championship. All of this still makes it a difficult championship“.
Fran Valle, special envoy of the Engine.it is in the 6 Hours of Silverstone, with Alex Wurz.
– The class LMP1 has four cars and a ByKolles little competitive.
“we can’t count with them because the LMP2 are faster. The power of our motors is very high, very similar to that of LMP2. When you see us pass the cars of LMP2 is for the extra power generated by the technology híbrid . It is amazing what we have. Currently you can’t expect the LMP1 faster than the LMP2, because LMP2 are the cars that have the engines faster. that is why it is very difficult for an independent team like us without energy recovery systems”.
– ¿How has it changed the TS050 Hybrid with respect to the TS040?
“very Much, one of the biggest changes has been the capacity of the batteries. at The beginning the technology of super battery capacity was optimal only in the race. They have now created batteries not to be recharged so quickly, they are more versatile. The evolution is impressive.
I Remember when I signed up with Toyota in 2011. We had supercapacitors till 2014, then we update the hybrid system of high-capacity (8MJ). We’re going to three years ahead. It is impressive that each year we move so great. Look at the times, it is assumed that we ought to go two seconds slower and we have gone two seconds quicker in 2017 we have passed in four seconds. All thanks to the fuel efficiency and the car, as well as of the hybrid technology. ¡Mola a lot to see these results!“.
– ¿Miss lead?
“Not much. I Tried many cars in the past year, I did almost 2,000 miles. This year I told the team that didn’t want to do more tests. I really want to focus on the work outside the car. It is time to stop. The team still encourages me to continue driving but I’m resisting. Don’t miss it. If something comes out again yes I like to lead and try new sensations, it is a way to prove to yourself. After years of testing, I want to get out of it“.
The two Toyota TS050 Hybrid during the 6 Hours of Silverstone
– ¿have You had the opportunity, at least, to test the rally car?
“Not the Toyota Yaris WRC, but yes the Toyota GT86. It was very fun”.
– what, Then, does not plan to return to compete at Le mans in a futuro?
– ¿Will Toyota move away from hybrid technology in the future?
“No. Le mans has been in recent years a good scenario where to test the new technology. You can see a direct relationship. In Le mans, we saw that the pollution levels of cars decreased, and the marks they used it to advertise their products. I was on a winning team, I won Le mans recently, and I realized that Toyota was open to the hybrid, and for me it was important to be on a computer with hybrid technology. I didn’t take the decision lightly, my other computer said to me, “you are in a winning team, you’re crazy if you want to leave”.
we’re Going to keep the hybrid technology because energy cannot be wasted, this gives us an increased margin for the performance and the efficiency. Whatever your main source of energy (hydrogen, or other gases), it does not matter, because you always have to recharge the energy in pit. So what we develop here will be what will keep us in the technological race forever. We have set a precedent that the rest of brands are following. A hybrid is not only to have a car efficiently, but also better performance. We are faster and we consume almost 35% less fuel. It is amazing”.