Toyota confirms cause of late Le Mans car failure

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Toyota has issued a statement confirming the cause of the failure on its No. 5 TS050 Hybrid car in the dying moments of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Sunday.

Toyota was just one lap away from its first overall victory at Le Mans that would have fulfilled the goal set out when it returned to the top line of sportscar racing in 2012.

Kazuki Nakajima entered the closing laps with a one minute lead over the No. 2 Porsche, but a loss of power caused the gap to shrink.

With just one more lap to make it home, Nakajima crawled to a halt on the main straight, allowing Porsche to snatch victory away from Toyota.

As Nakajima did not complete the final lap in 50% of the leader’s time, the No. 5 car was not classified, promoting the No. 6 Toyota into second place and the No. 8 Audi onto the final step of the podium.

In a short statement issued on Thursday, Toyota confirmed that the failure was caused by an issue with the turbo on the car.

“Car #5 suffered a technical defect on a connector on the air line between the turbo charger and the intercooler, causing a loss of turbo charger control,” the statement read.

“The team attempted to modify the control settings to restore power and this was eventually achieved, allowing the car to complete the final lap.��However, it was achieved too late to complete that lap within the required six minutes.

“Currently it is not clear exactly why this failure occurred as we have verified the process used to produce the part here in Cologne. Further analysis is required to determine the root cause. It is clear that the issue has no link whatsoever to the engine issues experienced at Spa earlier this season.

“Comprehensive investigations are underway at TMG to determine the precise reason for this issue with the aim of establishing countermeasures to avoid any repeat in the future.”

Toyota will next be racing its TS050 Hybrid at the 6 Hours of Nurburgring on July 24.