TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s TMG EV P002 electric race car made a successful start to testing prior to defending its title at next month’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (30 June).
The car arrived in the United States at the beginning of May and has been heavily modified by TOYOTA Racing Development USA at their base in Salisbury, North Carolina to improve aerodynamic performance.
The modified car, which also features an upgraded TMG electric powertrain, was tested last week at Carolina Motorsports Park in the hands of multiple Pikes Peak winner Rod Millen, who will attempt to retain the TMG EV P002’s electric title.
Two days of testing, supported by engineers from TMG and TRD USA, focused initially on driver comfort and systems checks.
The positive test soon moved on to set-up evaluation along with work on the aerodynamics, powertrain and cooling system, while a new carbon ceramic brake system was also analysed.
The TMG electric powertrain, which now delivers 400kW of power and 1200Nm of torque, ran faultlessly throughout while the new aerodynamic package produced a three-fold increase in total downforce. The reduced weight of the car compared to last years’ configuration also contributed to an overall performance improvement.
Rod Millen: “The balance was very good and the car behaved predictably at all times. This race car is unique and I really appreciated the seat time in the car. This gave me the chance to learn about the advanced electric powertrain capabilities and I could experience how the car changes over a race distance. Even when the tyres were past their best at the end the car was still fast and controllable. Now I am looking forward to driving an electric race car at Pikes Peak for the first time.”
Steve Wickham, TRD USA Vice President, Chassis Operations: “I am encouraged with the reliability and performance shown so far. Rod is happy with the car and I am looking forward to see how we stack up on the Mountain compared to last year and more importantly the strong EV competition. The multinational team from TRD and TMG are working together well which is critical for me as team manager especially as the Mountain schedule is so mentally and physically demanding on all of us. All of the many individual improvements in downforce, braking and powertrain we have made to the car seem to working well together. The team is ready to step up to the challenge; we all badly want to retain our title in the EV class.”
The next stage in the car’s preparation comes with the first tests at Pikes Peak on 15-16 June, prior to the event itself on 30 June.