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F1 Virtual Grand Prix Series Will Return for 2021

One of the stars of the 2020 esports racing scene, the F1 Virtual Grand Prix, is returning for a second season in 2021. Although 2020 was a bit of a chaotic year for motorsport, esports experienced quite the surge. With races and grands prix cancelled or postponed for much of the first half of the calendar, motorsport series had a gap in their sched ...

GT Planet

Toyota Reveals GR010 Le Mans Hypercar Contender

Toyota has become the first brand to reveal its Le Mans Hypercar in full. Sticking with Toyota’s naming scheme for its World Endurance Championship vehicles, but shaking things up a little to reflect the fresh start for the category, the car is called the GR010 Hybrid.

At first glance the GR010 doesn’t seem too far removed from the TS050 that it replaces. Although much larger — coming in at almost ten inches (250mm) longer, and four inches (100mm) taller and wider — the GR010 does adapt some of the previous car’s technologies.

Power comes from two sources, as before. First up is a new and much larger capacity V6 engine, coming in at 3.5 liters and equipped with a pair of turbochargers. That provides 670hp to the rear wheels of the GR010. In addition there’s a front axle motor unit producing 268hp and driving the front wheels.

In competition spec, an LMH car is only allowed to produce a maximum of 670hp, so the GR010 dials back the petrol engine as the motor deploys. This keeps the entire powertrain at as close to that 670hp limit as possible.

Further regulations govern the car’s weight, which is up by 365lb (162kg) compared to its predecessor. As power is also down — Toyota states 32% less power, suggesting 985hp for the TS050 — lap times will be slower than before. Although we won’t find out how much slower until June, Toyota is projecting around a 10s loss per lap around Circuit de la Sarthe.

One other major change comes by way of the vehicle aerodynamics. Whereas in previous seasons we’ve seen manufacturers run low drag configurations for Le Mans or Monza, the LMH class is only permitted one bodywork package. That means each car will run all six races without major changes, and only an adjustable rear wing to
help out.

After an 18-month development period, Toyota has already put the GR010 through its paces in two three-day tests at the Algarve International Circuit (also known as Portimao) in Portugal. It’s even already selected the drivers for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship campaign and Le Mans — with the same driver lineup that won both titles last year. That’s Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 car, and Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Brendon Hartley in the #8 car.

In addition to the race car, Toyota is also continuing to develop a road car based around the same formula. It remains to be seen just how similar the GR010 and eventual production GR Super Sport will be however. The prototype that delivered the Le Mans 24 trophy last year was essentially a rebodied TS050.

While Toyota is the first brand to reveal its car, we’re expecting a flurry of other vehicles to appear over the next few weeks, ahead of the season start in Sebring on March 19. That includes the SCG007, which is well on the way, and a mystery vehicle from ByKolles Racing.

Hisatake Murata, team president of Toyota Gazoo Racing, comments:

“During our LMP1 era, since 2012, we worked tirelessly to improve and strengthen our hybrid technology for racing. We set new standards with the TS050 HYBRID and our first loop of racing hybrid development is complete; this technology will be available to our future customers soon.

“Now the second stage will begin. Through our WEC participation, we will refine our racing hybrid powertrain in the GR010 hybrid, enhance our understanding of hypercar technology and continually develop our staff. We do this with one clear goal: to deliver more exciting sportscars to our customers in the future.

“The GR010 hybrid is a preview of our road-going cars and what we learn on the WEC race tracks will directly benefit our customers. For this reason, we are delighted to welcome new competitors to the top category of WEC; a tough fight on the track will inspire us to continuously improve and push the limits for better.”

The post Toyota Reveals GR010 Le Mans Hypercar Contender appeared first on GTPlanet.


Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Race Preview: Barcelona

After a dramatic season opener in Interlagos, the 2021 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup rolls on this weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second of 10 rounds this season. With 40 of the world’s best drivers on the grid, stakes remain high as title contenders look to distinguish themselves from the pack in the $200,000 series. I ...

GT Planet

Forza Horizon 4 Season Change: A Stinging Summer Corvette

The warm embrace of Summer has settled over the UK to mark a new series in Forza Horizon 4 . Series 31 has now officially started, bringing more new and returning content as well as refreshed events. Along with a trio of new cars as Playlist prizes for 50% and 80% completion, there’s also a brand-new Corvette making its festival debut. Put your ...

GT Planet

Akira Teshima’s Own Subaru Impreza 22B Was Scanned for GT Sport

If you drive the Subaru Impreza 22B in Gran Turismo Sport — and you should, because it’s brilliant — it turns out that you’re actually driving a bit of history. The car you’re driving virtually is the personal car of the man you could arguably suggest is the father of the Impreza: Akira Teshima.

Like every single one of the other real-world vehicles in a Gran Turismo game, the Impreza 22B has had a defined path to digitization. In order to create the virtual version, Polyphony Digital has first had to source a real one. While some of the fictional vehicles are based on computer-assisted design (CAD) data from manufacturers, only the real thing will do for… well, the real thing.

To that end, Polyphony Digital, and its Gran Turismo Explore studios, hunt down the best examples they can find. For brand-new cars, and even some classics, it’s not too tricky, as vehicle manufacturers tend to keep current and heritage fleets for members of the motoring press to drive on events. Rare and unusual cars can be harder to find, and that’s where private owners come in.

According to the post on his Instagram page, above, Teshima supplied his own personal 22B to an undisclosed location and team for the process. The post includes a number of photos, and even a video, which shows some of the familiar process of vehicle data capture.

We can see in some of the images that the car is covered in hundreds of tiny dots, across the bodywork and even on the wheels. This is a photographic technology similar to what we’d see in CGI motion capture in films, where actors perform their scenes covered in white dots. They give visual anchor points for the software to determine where the surface of the actor is in order to overlay the effects; here it creates 3D surface information.

Akira Teshima was the designer behind the very first Impreza WRX, the high-performance version of the Impreza sedan intended to be the basis of Subaru’s assault on the World Rally Championship. Teshima was in fact responsible for both the GC8 sedan and the GF8 hatchback, which is often mistaken for a wagon.

It should come as little surprise then that he is among the very limited number of 22B owners worldwide. Subaru introduced the 22B as the ultimate incarnation of the GC8 line in 1998. The car came with a unique body derived from that of the WRC cars — in model specific WR Blue finish — and a bored 2.2-liter version of the boxer four producing, at least officially, 276hp. Unofficially, that’s a serious low-ball.

Given the extremely limited production run of just over 400 cars, 22Bs are highly prized and can change hands for well over $100k when they do come up for sale. The one in GT Sport just happens to be a little more special than most.

The post Akira Teshima’s Own Subaru Impreza 22B Was Scanned for GT Sport appeared first on GTPlanet.

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