Toyota Gazoo Racing is confident it has resolved the fuel pressure issue that plagued both of the Toyota GR010 Hybrids in the last two FIA World Endurance Championship rounds, including its managed effort to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Japanese manufacturer faced similar issues in both races, nearly costing them victory at Le Mans if for not a clever tactic to re-cycle the fuel pump during braking phases in order to prevent a costly trip to the garage to replace each cars’ fuel cell.
TGR-E technical director Pascal Vasselon declined to go into detail on what exactly has been done to fix the issue but said they now have “enough understanding” to have “all countermeasures” in place.
“We have done what has been needed to be done to sort the problems which we found,” Vasselon told Sportscar365.
“We have now understood why the root cause in Monza and Le Mans was slightly different. We have a more global view and a convincing explanation for the two different cases.
“This is why we believe we have enough understanding of the problem to have all countermeasures in place.”
Vasselon previously explained to Sportscar365 that a fuel contamination issue was the culprit in Monza but Toyota has since discovered the contaminant was a “bit different” in Le Mans.
“We said the same after Monza and it’s true,” he said. “After Monza we found one obvious cause and we were convinced that we had found it and it was done.
“The problem is that there was another one behind, which did bite us back at Le Mans.
“Now it looks like we are at the end. Normally, we have captured all of the root causes.”
The team did not encounter any fuel pressure issues during a test at two-day test at Barcelona in September although Vasselon admitted it didn’t run enough mileage for the problem to be able to develop.
“You don’t develop the problem in 1,000 kms,” he said. “You can have a 1,000 km test day, all fine, and it doesn’t mean so.
“We’re happy and are confident that already in Barcelona the problem is fixed. But the mileage would not reveal such a problem, which is about cumulated contamination.
“We’re talking about micro particles. We’re not talking about big things which are flowing around.”
Team director Rob Leupen said the “pressure was high” to solve the issue given the implications it had in Le Mans.
“It was not what we expected after Monza,” Leupen told Sportscar365. “We take things very serious within our structure we then try to go to the bottom [of it]. We found some further anomalies that have caused this.
“In Le Mans it came eight hours before the race which became critical. But it was the great effort of some people in the team who came up with a solution.
“It worked. I think Sebastien Buemi has extremely well-developed fingers now and the same for the other drivers but Sebastien was the one who tested it.
“After Le Mans coming home it was a big topic, not only for us but of course at Toyota, they would like to know what we have done in between.
“The pressure was high to solve the issue. I hope we now have it solved here. We have two important races for both the drivers and manufacturers championships.”