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  Lola B12/60 Toyota
 

  Article Image gallery (64) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2012
Designed by:Julian Sole for Lola
Predecessor:Lola B10/60 Toyota
Successor:Rebellion R-One Toyota
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 19, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOf all the Japanese manufacturers, Toyota has been one of the most committed to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From the early 1980s until the late 1990s, the company was active in the endurance classic before switching to Formula 1 in 2001. Particularly in the final two attempts with the fabulous GT-One TS020, the much coveted victory was within grasps but Toyota eventually had to settle for second.

Even before Toyota withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of 2009, there were rumours of a return to Le Mans, quite possibly with a hybrid engined sports racers. In 2011 the Toyota name will be back at Le Mans but with a much lower profile effort; strictly as a paid engine-supplier to the Swiss funded, British run Rebellion team. Changes to the engine regulations enabled Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) to develop a top level prototype engine from an existing design.

This existing engine is the type 'RV8K', which was originally developed for Formula Nippon and is also used to power the Lexus GT500 racer in the Super GT championship. Its 3.4 litre displacement made it ideally suited to the 2011 LMP1 regulations; that is the maximum for naturally aspirated petrol engine. Slightly detuned to ensure reliability and breathing through two restrictors, the compact 'RV8KLM' engine produces in excess of 500 bhp according to the official figures.

The Toyota V8 was bolted as a semi-stressed member to the two Lola tubs already used by the Rebellion team during the 2010 season. Known officially as the B10/60, the chassis represents the latest LMP1 design by the British specialist manufacturer. The carbon-fibre monocoque is suspended by double wishbones with push-rod actuated dampers on both ends. The front suspension features a third spring. The RV8KLM's power is transferred to the rear wheels through a paddle-actuated, six-speed gearbox.

During the pre-season tests and the first two races of 2011, there was little to distinguish the Toyota engined machine from the 2010 cars but ahead of the Official Le Mans Test Lola introduced a new front-end, developed specifically for the Rebellion team. The main change was use of much wider wheel-arches to accommodate full-width tyres that were previously only used on the rear. As a result much larger headlight clusters are fitted that are reminiscent of those used on the great sports racers of the early 1970s.

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  Article Image gallery (64) Chassis (2) Specifications