Toyota places fresh focus on liquid hydrogen following Fuji 24 Hours
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After the performance of its developmental Corolla racer, the automaker has new plans for H2.
Recent Toyota news headlines are placing the spotlight on the automaker’s new raised focus on liquid hydrogen for its developmental Corolla racer following the car’s finish in its second Fuji 24 Hours earlier this month.
The #32 GR Corolla H2 Concept entered by Rookie Racing completed 478 laps in the Super Taikyu race.
The liquid hydrogen powered vehicle’s average speed was 90.687 kilometers per hour. This represented a substantial improvement over the car’s debut Fuji 24 Hours last year, when the entry achieved an average of 67.963 kilometers per hour for its 358 laps.
This year’s performance placed the vehicle in sixth place out of six finishers in the ST-Q class for cars not conforming to any specific technical regulations. The winner was the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which completed a notably higher 760 laps.
Behind the wheel aboard the hydrogen fuelled car were Toyota president Akio Toyota (who was competing as “Morizo”), SUPER GT racer Hiroaki Ishiura, Masahiro Sasaki, Yasuhiro Ogura, and two additional drivers that joined the Rookie Racing squad late, Toyota WRC head Jari-Matti Latvala and Norihiko Katsuta, a domestic rallying star.
The liquid hydrogen car’s best qualifying lap was 1m58.867s, set with Sasaki behind the wheel.
The Toyota hydrogen car’s best qualifying lap was about 18 seconds slower than the fastest ST-X (FIA GT3) competitors. The vehicle’s best lap of the race was 1m59.867s, which represented a full five second improvement over the achievement from last year.
Latvala was in the driver’s seat for 58 laps, of which the fastest achieved 2m01.758s. This was his first circuit racing return in 12 years.
Before the race began, Toyota compared the vehicle’s debut to that of the current model. The 1.6-liter turbo engine was taken from a GR Yaris. This brought the car a 20 percent power boost and 30 percent more torque. There was about 20 percent more cruising range added as a result.
The liquid hydrogen powered Corolla stopped at the pits 41 trips, including one that was specific to serving a minute-long contact penalty. It travelled an average of 11.7 laps between stops. Comparatively, the performance in 2021 stopped at an average of every 10.2 laps.