Toyota Outlines Motorsports Activities for 2008

Toyota Outlines Motorsports Activities for 2008 image

Text: / Photos: | posted March 27, 2008 08:00

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced its 2008 motorsports activities would focus on competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), NASCAR, Super GT and Formula Nippon, and on training drivers that can perform on the world stage.

Toyota, competing in its seventh year of F1, will employ its new aerodynamically stable TF108 racecar. Timo Glock has been signed as a new driver, and together with veteran driver Jarno Trulli, the team will aim for Toyota's first victory.

The Toyota Camry will once again participate in the Sprint Cup Series, the pinnacle of NASCAR racing, as well as in the Nationwide Series. Toyota is looking for its first overall win in the Sprint Cup Series with the promising Joe Gibbs Racing team. Toyota will also continue to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series with the Toyota Tundra, after having won the manufacturers' title last year.

In Japan, the Lexus SC430 will once again participate in the GT500 class of the Super GT, and with a strengthened team, Toyota will be looking for the title. At the same time, Toyota will continue to supply engines to Formula Nippon, a premier formula racing series in Japan.

Toyota is also committed to continuing its support for a wide range of events and race categories—from top-class events all the way down to the grassroots level—in order to promote motorsports in general.

Toyota will continue to promote its Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP). The program cultivates young race drivers so that they can 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 F1 racing, the GP2 series and F3 Euro series, as well as test driving. This year Toyota has selected 14 drivers worldwide to participate in TDP.

Meanwhile, Toyota is continuing initiatives in the arena of hybrid motorsports as part of its efforts to improve the efficiency of hybrid systems (including production vehicles) and in consideration of the impact of motorsports on the environment.

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 United States serve as local hubs for regional activities.