Toyota suffered a heartbreaking loss at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and now we know why.
Toyota GAZOO Racing has released a statement, claiming that the #5 car, which appeared to be on its way to victory before losing power, suffered a “technical defect on a connector on the air line between the turbo charger and the intercooler, causing a loss of turbo charger control.”
Toyota appeared to have the race won, leading by over 50 seconds with just about three minutes left. Then suddenly, the Toyota car lost power, eventually coming to a full stop on the Mulsanne straight, allowing Porsche to reclaim the lead and the victory.
The team eventually was able to modify the control settings to restore power, but by then it was too late. The #5 car completed its last lap, but not within the required six minute time frame.
Toyota says it is still not exactly sure why this part failed and it has already verified the process that was used to produce the part. Further analysis will hopefully determine the root cause of the issue that caused such a devastating blow to Toyota Racing, to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.