The boss of Toyota's LMP1 program believes the Japanese car manufacturer could set a quicker lap time around the Nurburgring Norschleife than the unrestricted Porsche 919 Evo with its TS050 Hybrid.
Porsche decided to celebrate its exit from the LMP1 category of the World Endurance Championship by creating an unrestricted version of its 919 Hybrid prototype with less weight, more power, and new aerodynamic components. It lapped the famous Nurburgring in a blistering 5:19.546 seconds, easily eclipsing the previous record set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 during qualifying for the 1000k Sports Car race at the circuit in 1983.
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Asked by Motorsport at the WEC Prologue in Barcelona about the possibility of Toyota heading to the Nurburgring targeting a new record time, LMP1 boss Rob Leupen said a similarly-unrestricted TS050 Hybrid could deliver.
"I’d like to try that, that would be fun. I think this car would be quicker on the Nordschleife than the Porsche," he said.
Unfortunately, Leupen added that there are no current plans from within Toyota to target an outright record at the famous racetrack. "You need the budget and the strategy to do it, and right now we don’t have that yet," he said.
The ongoing 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship will be the final season featuring the LMP1 category before it is phased out and replaced with the new Hypercar class. Taking the TS050 Hybrid to the Nurburgring could be a fitting way for Toyota to send off LMP1 in style while previewing its upcoming Hybrid programme that will see the GR Super Sport compete for top honors alongside the Aston Martin Valkyrie and others.