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Toyota LMH Car Completes First Test at Paul Ricard

Toyota confirms rollout of new LMH car at Paul Ricard; four LMP1 drivers at the wheel…

Photo: Toyota (file)

Toyota rolled out its Le Mans Hypercar last week, becoming the first team to track test a car for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new top-level prototype formula.

The car, which is set to be publicly revealed on Jan. 11, underwent a three-day test at Paul Ricard from Monday, Oct. 19 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Details are limited but a Toyota spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that the team’s current LMP1 drivers Mike Conway, Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Jose Maria Lopez all got behind the wheel.

Both Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima were absent from the test due to their commitments in the previous weekend’s Super Formula round at Sportsland Sugo.

Kobayashi then also had to travel to Belgium for his drive with the HubAuto Racing Ferrari team in last weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.

The test reportedly ran without issues, while the team experienced dry running throughout.

The spokesperson added that Toyota plans to conduct “several tests during the winter” including full endurance runs ahead of its planned race debut at Sebring next March.

Toyota’s initial aim was to get its LMH car running in July this year, but the WEC’s decision to implement a single calendar year schedule for 2021 – adding six months to the LMH development timeline – enabled the manufacturer to defer track testing until October.

The recent test at Paul Ricard suggests Toyota’s project remains on schedule for its race debut in just over four and a half months.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is set to roll out its LMH contender for the first time on Jan. 5 while ByKolles Racing has yet to say when its PMC Project car will first appear.

Full technical details of the hybrid-powered Toyota LMH have yet to be revealed, while the manufacturer’s 2021 driver lineup is also under wraps for now.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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