TOYOTA TO RETURN TO LE MANS WITH HYBRID POWER SPORTS CAR
24-hour race included in proposed 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship programme
- Toyota to compete in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours with a new race car powered by a petrol hybrid powertrain
- Chassis to be built to LMP1 specifications by Toyota Motorsport in Germany, engine produced by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan
- Toyota also plans to enter other races in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship
- Race car will be rolled out early in 2012 for extensive pre-season testing
Toyota will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012 with a new hybrid power sports car. Its return to the world’s most famous endurance race will be with a new LMP1 chassis designed, developed and produced by Toyota Motorsport in Germany, equipped with a hybrid petrol powertrain engineered by Toyota in Japan.
Participation at Le Mans will be one of a number of races Toyota proposes to enter in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, a competition that will enable it to further explore the potential of its world-leading hybrid technology.
The new team will be based at Toyota Motorsport’s Cologne headquarters and it is expected that the new car will be rolled out early in 2012 for an extensive pre-season testing programme. Further details about the team will be announced later.
Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer and Toyota Motorsport Chairman, said: “Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge. We want to write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through our use of hybrid technology.
“In addition, we aim to learn from the experience of competing in such a challenging motorsport environment to enhance our production car technology. Le Mans is a legendary race and I would like to thank the ACO and the FIA for their constructive and positive co-operation over the last few months,” says Yamashina.
Toyota Motosport’s award-winning engineering services and all its current motorsport projects are unaffected by the announcement of the new racing programme and will continue as before. Toyota hopes the new enterprise will provide further impetus to Toyota Motorsport’s successful business development.
Toyota last competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours as a manufacturer in the late 1990s racing the GT-One, a car which famously established a new race lap record in 1999.
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