Toyota Gazoo Racing has finally provided information on the technical issue that plagued car #5 at the end of the Le Mans 24 Hours race that finished on Sunday. Before the breakdown, Toyota was leading the iconic 24h race and was cruising to the finish line for its first Le Mans win after 18 tries.
According to the team’s official statement, the #5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid suffered a technical defect on a connector on the air line between the turbocharger and the intercooler, causing a loss of turbocharger control.
The team attempted to modify the control settings to restore power, and while this was eventually achieved, the final lap was not completed within the required six minutes for #5 to be classified (DNF).
“Currently, it is not clear exactly why this failure occurred as we have verified the process used to produce the part here in Cologne. Further analysis is required to determine the root cause. It is clear that the issue has no link whatsoever to the engine issues experienced at Spa earlier this season,” the team statement added.
Toyota is now trying to determine the precise reason for the issue with the aim of establishing countermeasures to avoid any repeat in the future.
It was a cruel end to a brilliant race for Toyota, which led for most of the 24 hours at La Sarthe. They were on course for a 1-3 domination of the podium, sandwiching world champions and last year’s winner Porsche. The team had to settle for a second place, for the fifth time at Le Mans. Roundup and pics from the race here.