RacingManiac wrote:Reading the letter it seems they were already soured in the 80s working with Toyota. Conflicting culture and distrust ultimately break-off the collaboration...
Well, my interpretation of the letter isn't that extreme. Sure, they were sidelined by Toyota after 1986 and the decision-making process at the time let DOME down, but the fault is given to the influence Tom's had with Toyota, those days.
To put it into perspective, in 1985 and 1986, Team Toyota at Le Mans were really two single-car teams racing each other. The cars were designed and manufactured by DOME, but car #36 was run by Tom's and #38 by DOME themselves. Hayashi writes that Tom's started head-hunting DOME's main design engineers, what lead in the end Toyota to enroll Tony Southgate to oversee new cars design, that started being built together with (and raced exclusively by)
Tom's. That forced DOME to sit away from Le Mans for the 14 years that followed.
Like, in my opinion, most DOME vehicles, these Toyotas were stunning looking, but the results were poor and it's quite understandable the decision from Toyota to change.
On the subject of Monday's tests for the S102, it has completed 59 laps in a period of 2h10m, sharing the Fuji Speedway with other cars (Hayashi mentioned even Toyota Yaris-like vehicles testing together with them!). They've improved their time in 1s
, compared with the baseline time the car had established, which Hayashi estimated should represent around 2,5s
at Le Mans. Their goal is, by the end of the year, to have the car faster by 2s
, compared with 2008.
I think it is relevant to remember that, before Le Mans 2008, DOME tested in Spa and, at the time, the times posted were very competitive (I remember them being close to what the Diesels achieved racing there). Sure, no Judd-powered car will ever beat the Diesels without these having problems, but 2011 will see a big revolution engine-wise, so let's wait and see if they find a solution to get this car back racing...