Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly known as Eastern Creek Raceway) is the only permanently dedicated race track in Australia. The eighteen turn course has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging tracks in the world, which is why Toyota headed out there in 1992 to give their new Group C entry, known as the TS010, a thorough shakedown test.
Changes in the Group C rules for 1992 forced Toyota to replace their previous series of twin turbocharged V8-powered Group C “C-V” sportscars, as the rules now called for a naturally aspirated mill with no more than 3.5 liters of displacement. An entirely new chassis was developed for the TS010 so the car could accommodate the new 600 horsepower mid-mounted V10. With five valves per cylinder, the new motor served as a test bed for Toyota’s multi-valve technologies, engineering which was then passed on to Toyota’s road car division to be used in the development of street car motors.
Since the TS010 was designed to compete on high speeds courses like the Circuit de la Sarthe, its elaborate aero kit focused on maintaining as much downforce as possible to keep the car planted to the ground.
The car would go on to a podium finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans later that year, but before it did so, engineers testing at the Eastern Creek circuit would find out just how capable it was when test driver Andy Wallace broke two ribs taking a fast corner in the TS010 – and by fast, we mean 190+ miles per hour:
“I had been testing the Toyota TS010 in Eastern Creek, Australia a few weeks before. We had been doing a marathon test, which lasted for nine days straight! Eastern Creek is a great racetrack, but there is a monster bump in the middle of turn one, which is taken flat-out in sixth gear at about 190 mph. Fantastic corner, but each time you go over the bump you get bashed about quite badly in the cockpit. Well after nine days of endurance testing I went over the bump one more time and, CRACK, two ribs decided they’d had enough of that! Within an hour Hitoshi Ogawa had also broken his ribs for the same reason.”
Further proof that race car drivers are cut from a different cloth.