Following the launch of Toyota’s TS040 Hybrid sports car last week, here’s a rare look at some of their legendary Le Mans challengers inside the Toyota Motorsport GmbH museum. While, with the exception of the TS030 they are not strictly diesel or hybrid, we know that you want to see them all, so enjoy!
The Toyota TS010 was developed in association with TOM’S ahead of the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours. The #36 car in the gallery was taken to a fourth-place finish by Eddie Irvine, Toshio Suzuki and Masanori Sekiya.
The Toyota TS020, also known as the GT-One, is now a Le Mans icon, having competed in the 1998 and 1999 editions of the 24-hour endurance race. Thierry Boutsen, Ralf Kelleners and Geoff Lee came close to winning the 1998 race in this #29 car, but suffered a gearbox failure that put them out of the race.
The ZENT-liveried car was driven by Martin Brundle, Emmanuel Collard and Vincenzo Sospiri at Le Mans in 1999. Brundle was chasing down the leaders near midnight when he was forced to retire from the race following a puncture.
One of the quirks of the GT1 class that the TS020 competed in in 1998 was that a small number of production cars had to be made to meet the rules. Engineers at Toyota Motorsport GmbH created just two ‘production’ TS020 GT-Ones – one is on display in its museum, the other in Japan.