Toyota has a large presence in international motorsports
This would be a second series for Toyota to showcase hybrid performance
The IndyCar Series is ready to add a third brand of engine manufacturer with a switch to a new type of powertrain. New reports say that Toyota is planning to make its return to the series to fight against Chevrolet and Honda when the series moves toward an F1-style kinetic energy recovery hybrid system.
The news comes from Racer, who reports that rumours have been circulating for some time that Toyota could join the show. French IndyCar commentators mentioned Toyota joining Indycar during Sunday’s Long Beach Grand Prix season finale event.
Racer spoke with Toyota Racing Development president Dave Wilson, who did not confirm or deny the reports. “Toyota and TRD are always having discussions within the garages that we currently compete as well as with other sanctioning bodies to ensure we keep up relationships and maintain a finger on the pulse of U.S. motorsports,” he said.
Toyota currently competes in a wide range of racing series in the U.S. including NASCAR, IMSA, NHRA, and Formula Drift. The automaker joined IndyCar in 1996 and raced in the series through 2005, winning series titles and the Indianapolis 500.
Toyota has used small turbo V6 engines with KERS hybrid units to win the last four runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With IndyCar switching to a similar format, it would offer an opportunity for Toyota to further expand its hybrid know-how and the awareness of its hybrid systems.