Despite being the lone major manufacuter in the series, Toyota has announced that they will remain and continue to compete in the World Endurance Cup for the 2018-2019 season. Prior to their confirmation, the Japanese automaker had been considering whether or not to pull out of the series as Porsche, their main competitor, has already left.
Prior reports of Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso testing for Toyota hinted at their plan next season. The final decision however likely came from the new LMP1 regulations - the class that the Toyota Gazoo Racing team competes in. Once again, Toyota will field a pair of TS050 Hybrid race cars for the coming season.
As Porsche has already retired from LMP1 and WEC, Toyota is now left as the only major manufacturer in the class. However, the company doesn't seem to be fazed. Instead, the company is said to use the series as a proving ground in developing better cars that will be used on the road.
“It is highly regrettable that our rival in honing technologies on the roads of Le Mans has left. Yet the World Endurance Championship, in which cars of different categories race at the same time, and particularly Le Mans, where the battle goes on for 24 hours, including on public roads, still represent the optimal proving ground for achieving the goal of making cars fun for the next 100 years,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
Hopefully the next season would allow Toyota to clinch the Le Mans win they had always been wanting. Toyota Gazoo Racing's driver line up will be announced early next year.