DENSO Motor Sports
Commitment to Customers: DENSO Supports Toyota Racing in WEC & Volvo Polestar in TTA
The FIA World Endurance Championship, or WEC, is a racing series that is held from the 2012 season onward. Toyota is the first manufacturer to confirm its participation in WEC using a hybrid system, emphasising the pioneering approach to this technology. The 2012 race car features a rear hybrid motor system developed by DENSO.
The TTA – Racing Elite League is the new racing championship for top drivers in Sweden. Sporting values are at the core of the championship and all 16 drivers are racing on equal terms. The fastest driver in Sweden will be crowned. Volvo announced in August last year that they were switching to TTA – the Racing Elite League. DENSO is proud to be supporting Volvo Polestar in the TTA – Racing Elite League 2012.
DENSO and WEC
DENSO’s close relationship with World Endurance Championship racing goes back to Group C in the 1980s. In 1983, DENSO’s Research and Development Department 10 (predecessor to the later ‘R’ Pro-Motorsports Support Group) created a racing business in order to supply parts for Group C cars and constructed a full-fledged support system. Since then, DENSO has given broad support to racing activities through parts and sponsorship.
DENSO participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1987 with the DENSO Toyota 87C under contract with Toyota Team TOM’S, at Le Mans in 1993 by providing full sponsorship for three DENSO Toyota TS-010 cars, and in 1994 with the DENSO Toyota 94C-V under contract for Toyota Team SARD, achieving a rank of second overall.
Ever since 2006, when Audi won the first victory with a diesel engine, 24 Hours of Le Mans races of recent years have had increasingly strong influence on the development of new automotive technologies focused on energy efficiency and increased output across the entire speed range.
That being the situation, Toyota decided to develop a new vehicle with a motorsports hybrid engine and start competing at Le Mans again. Toyota hybrid race cars participated in 2006, with Lexus Team SARD competing in endurance races, and with the DENSO Lexus GS450h competing in the Tokachi 24-Hour Race, finishing the race fourth in its class.
Toyota competed in the Tokachi 24-Hour Race again in 2007 with the DENSO SARD Supra HV-R and took first price overall. By competing in Le Mans, we are writing a new chapter in the history of automotive technology development and the hybrid car.
|• Car||TS030 HYBRID
Car No.7, 8
|• Driver||Alex Wurz
|• Team President||Yoshiaki Kinoshita|
|• Technical Director||Pascal Vasselon|
|• Project General Manager||Hisatake Murata|
DENSO parts with which the TS030 is equipped
|• Motor generator||rear|
|• Hybrid and engine control ECU|
|• Radiators||for the engine and for the hybrid system|
|• Oil coolers||for the engine, and for the gear box and motor generator|
|• Fuel injectors|
|• Spark plugs|
|• Various sensors|
DENSO and TTA
As part of DENSO’s CSR activities, we are supporting the Volvo Polestar racing team. This local collaboration started in 2010. Next to increasing associate motivation, being a good neighbour, and deepening customer connection – this support program delivered tangible results after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
DENSO Sweden raised nearly 9,000 euro, which was sent to the victims via the Japanese Red Cross Society. This money was raised through various events organised by local staff and their families, plus some donations from business contacts at Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Polestar racing. In addition, nearly 1,300 kg of clothing and blankets were collected and shipped to the disaster area.
In the 2010 season, the Volvo Polestar team – promoting environmentally friendly racing with ethanol engines and E85 fuel – won the Swedish Touring Car Championship. Last season, the Green Racing C30 finished second overall, and made an appearance in the World Touring Car Championship.
Now, the Volvo Polestar team is part of the TTA – Racing Elite League in Sweden. The team races with four vehicles, two in traditional Swedish-blue livery, and two in an exciting and menacing Black look.
On 16th June, the Gothenburg City Race was held.
The Gothenburg City race track used to be the old dockland area for trading ships, and it was recently converted for racing and test driving as a way of helping promote and redevelop this area of Gothenburg. When not used for racing it is used for driver training and go karting.
DENSO sponsors this race track, and in return can use the track for driving our active safety prototype vehicles in a protected and secure manner. This is where we develop systems, ensuring that the cars can brake automatically when they detect a pedestrian in their path, or recently by steering around obstacles.
In addition, we have used this sponsorship to attract applications from local university graduates by re-using the racing photographs in our recruitment adverts, or by taking a race car to recruitment fairs.
For more information regarding TTA racing, please visit their official website.