Toyota Gazoo Racing is set to stay in Florida after the 1000 Miles of Sebring weekend to put a GR010 HYBRID through an endurance test before Le Mans.
This will be the third and final test for Toyota with its updated GR010 HYBRID since the end of last season. Technical director Pascal Vasselon tells RACER the team will run a single GR010 HYBRID for all six full-season drivers, and the team’s nominated reserve driver Kazuki Nakajima.
For this season Toyota brings the second significant update for the GR010 HYBRID since its 2021 debut. The most visible changes come in the form of a more aggressive aero package. Further improvements have been made elsewhere though, to enhance drivability and aerodynamic consistency.
“The changes are never enough, but we have improved a few areas where we are not at the best possible level, so we are satisfied,” Vasselon said.
For its post-race running, a third updated GR010 HYBRID has been transported to Sebring, the team unsurprisingly opting to give the pair that will race next Friday a break.
“We have been testing very little this year — we needed a third test,” Vasselon explained. “The problem we had is that we planned it for the time when Portimao was added to the calendar, so we had to move our last test. It isn’t ideal. It’s our last test of the season, and our last test before Le Mans (bar a planned brief shakedown after the race at Spa).”
“We can’t run through the night — it’s not possible here (Sebring) — but over the three days we will complete an endurance test.”
Vasselon was keen to point out that the team hasn’t tested as much as some of its closest rivals in Hypercar this off-season.
“We did not reduce our amount of testing compared to previous years, it just appears that we run a test program that is much less intense than our competitors,” he said. “Unfortunately we are testing a lot less than others. It will be tougher, but we are experienced in the FIA WEC; let’s hope it balances out.”
Since January, Porsche has completed seven days of testing with 963 (with two cars at each test), Ferrari has 12 days of 499P running to show for, and Cadillac has tested its V-Series.R for two days (although it benefits from data sharing with the IMSA GTP-class effort) and Peugeot has run the 9X8 for 10 days. Toyota, meanwhile, has completed nine days of testing with one car at each test.
Corvette Racing is also staying in Florida to test its 2024 Z06 GT3.R. The test car, which ran in camouflage last year and turned laps after the Rolex 24, will take to the track in Sebring for two days of running. Development driver Tommy Milner is expected to drive.
The test car here for Corvette is believed to be the only fully built chassis, with a second car still under construction.