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ORECA 03


TOYOTA TS030


No fewer than eight ORECA 03s appear on the Le Mans entry list this year, but that is not surprising as it is based on the most produced Le Mans Prototype ever, the Courage LC70 / LC75. With the vast number of cars having been built, it allows ORECA to easily meet the LMP2 cost cap. Most of the 03s utilise the Nissan-branded Zytek engine, though a sole example runs with the Judd HK V8. A fl ywheel hybrid version of the car is also expected to re-appear in LMP1 at some WEC races later in the season.


HPD ARX 03/02 (below)


Powered by a Honda 3.4-litre V8 in LMP1 guise – built by HPD in its headquarters in Santa Clarita, USA – and a Honda V6 in the Starworks’ LMP2 car. The cars run with Hewland six-speed sequential gearshift ‘boxes, but not all have been converted to run on the larger front wheels, despite designer, Nick Wirth, being the fi rst to experiment with 18in wheels front and back on the ARX-01 series cars. JRM will run with the smaller, 17in front wheels, which means the team will not benefi t from the latest Michelin front rubber. The teams are also working to improve the pitch sensitivity


of the car, and so are running stiffer springs at Le Mans to compensate. That has led to further tyre issues. The LMP2 HPD is essentially an upgraded ORECA design, based on a Courage chassis, whilst the latest specifi cation HPD has a slightly modifi ed tub.


Toyota applied its Formula 1 development skills to its Sports Prototype, and has developed the car in record time. Not fast enough, however, to race at the Spa 6 Hours in May, following an accident with Nicolas Lapierre when the ECU intended solely for the dyno engines was inadvertently fi tted to the racecar in wet conditions, causing the car to go into its fail safe mode at the fast fi rst corner at Paul Ricard.


The TS030 will run with a capacitor system, which delivers large


amounts of power for a relatively short period of time. ‘We have a very clever system on braking and downshifting and we can control the motor, so it is a strong statement of our control technology,’ says Hisatake Murata, hybrid project team leader at Toyota. The team developed the hybrid system over every other part of the car, believing that is where the greatest performance gains would come from. ‘Performance of the rear system is the same since January. We ran a lot of simulation on how to use for the racing, chasing, pit lane limiter and so on, so we are now more clever. There are no big system changes since January,’ says Murata.


July 2012 • www.racecar-engineering.com 15


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