Brendon Hartley has had his second taste of Toyota’s new Le Mans Hypercar in a private test at Algarve circuit in Portugal this week.
It was only the second time the Japanese manufacturer had put their yet-to-be-named Hypercar through its paces on track.
Hartley drove the car across all three days along with World Endurance teammates Jose Maria Lopez, Mike Conway and Sebastien Buemi. Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries joined the team for the final day of running on Friday.
Toyota are remaining understandable coy on the performance of their 2021 challenger. Even details about who drove when have been kept out of public eye.
Though they did reportedly run in their official livery with photographers banned from the test. It has so far only put out teaser shots of the car running in camouflage at its debut test in Paul Ricard.
However, speaking after the test, Lopez described the reliability of the 2021 hybrid prototype as “quite impressive.”
“Already, the first tests were quite good for us,” said Lopez. “We managed to do a lot of miles and the reliability of the car was very good.
“With a complex car like this, it was quite impressive for the first tests to do a lot of mileage.
“The team has worked on this technology for long time and has done a brilliant job.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon said the three days spent at the circuit near Portimao was “another productive test of our new Hypercar”.
“We have made more good progress on our various testing tasks; our understanding of the new car’s characteristics increases with every day of running, thanks to plenty of data, as well as constructive feedback from the drivers,” he said.
“We are still at an early stage of the track testing programme, so there is a lot of work to do before Sebring [for the scheduled opening round of the 2021 WEC in March] but we can be satisfied with our work this week.”