Cause of Toyota’s Le Mans heartbreak revealed


Toyota has issued a statement explaining the factors behind its final lap retirement at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The #5 TS050 Hybrid, driven by Kazuki Nakajima and shared throughout the race by Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, came to a halt on the start/finish straight whilst leading.

With one lap to go, Neel Jani inherited the lead of the race and drove the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid to the chequered flag, securing the German marque’s 18th overall win at the famous race.

A statement released to the Toyota Gazoo Racing website on Thursday morning confirmed a turbo failure as the root of the problem. The full release is printed below:

 

Le Mans 24 Hours – Post Race Update 2.

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 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.