LMP1 juggernauts Porsche, Audi and Toyota are all set to run high-downforce aero configurations when the FIA World Endurance Championship resumes action this weekend at the Nürburgring.
Both the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS050 Hybrid will utilize its third of three permitted homologated aero configurations this season, while the Audi R18 will also run in high-downforce trim, although it’s unclear if it is the same package that it ran at the season-opener in Silverstone.
Porsche, which claimed a shock victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month, recently completed a four-day test in Barcelona, which according to team principal Andreas Seidl, validated its decision to run the high downforce package for the German round.
“The data from the test, as well as the feedback from Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, was promising,” Seidl said.
“The majority of the modifications are covered by the bodywork, while the new look of the car’s front is obvious. We are well aware of the strong competition and ready to attack.”
While Porsche and Audi will be battling on home soil, Toyota will be looking for its breakthrough first victory of the season after losing Le Mans in the final four minutes of the race due to a turbo-related failure.
The Japanese manufacturer, whose European base is located 60 miles north of the Nürburgring in Cologne, Germany, has opted for an “ultra high-downforce” package, due to the circuit’s shorter and tighter characteristics.
Toyota ran the opening two rounds at Silverstone and Spa in a separate medium/high-downforce configuration that’s expected to return later this season.
Unlike last year’s race, which was run on a modified version of the 16-turn, 3.199-mile circuit, this weekend’s event will utilize the tighter Formula One-specification Veedol Chicane.
“It will be interesting to see who will have the right package there as it is a high downforce circuit so we will come with revised aerodynamics,” Toyota’s Mike Conway said. “Hopefully we can continue our strong pace from Le Mans.”