Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that its 2007 motorsports activities will focus on competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), NASCAR, Super GT and Formula Nippon, and on training upcoming and promising drivers.
In F1, for its sixth year of competition, Toyota will employ the new TF107 racecar, redesigned to improve aerodynamics and weight distribution. Regarding technology development, the team's upper management structure is being enhanced, and, in recognition of the results achieved last year, the team will go again with drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli as it aims to compete among the top teams and capture Toyota's first victory.
In NASCAR, Toyota is competing for the first time this year in the competition's pinnacle Nextel Cup Series and in the almost-as-much-watched Busch Series, with the Toyota Camry. Toyota is also once again competing in the Craftsman Truck Series with the Toyota Tundra, after having won both dual driver and manufacturer titles last year.
In Japan, Toyota will aim for a second consecutive title in the Super GT, employing Lexus SC430s for all its GT500-class cars. Toyota will also continue supplying engines to Formula Nippon, a premier formula racing series in Japan.
Furthermore, Toyota is committed to continuing to support a wide range of events and race categories, from top class events right through to the grassroots level, in order to promote motorsports in general.
Toyota will continue to promote its Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP), which cultivates young race drivers to perform on the world stage and aims to provide a wide range of opportunities for drivers to hone their skills through participation in such events as the GP2 series and F3 Euro series and F1 testing. This year it has selected 11 drivers worldwide.
Toyota will also continue to promote initiatives in the arena of hybrid motorsports, after having a hybrid vehicle successfully complete a race last year. Such initiatives are partially aimed at promoting technology development for improving the performance of hybrid systems in regular cars
The Motor Sports Division of the Higashifuji Technical Center is currently in charge of Toyota's overall motorsports activities, while Toyota Technocraft Co., Ltd. (TRD) in Japan, Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Europe and TRD, U.S.A. Inc. (TRD-USA) in the U.S. serve as local hubs for regional activities.