Platzhalter Motorsport

TDP Driver Kazuki Nakajima Selected as Test Driver for Williams F1 Team for 2007

Kohei Hirate and Kamui Kobayashi to Participate in Panasonic Toyota Racing F1 Tests

Kazuki Nakajima, who competed in the 2006 F3 Euro series, was selected as a test driver for the Williams F1 team, for the 2007 season. He also plans to participate on the DAMS team in the GP2 series, a category below F1. In addition, Kohei Hirate, who also competed in the F3 Euro series this year, plans to race in the GP2 series on the Trident team, starting in 2007. Kamui Kobayashi, winner of the rookie title in the 2006 F3 Euro series, plans to compete in the series for a second year as a part of the ASM Formula 3 team. Both Hirate and Kobayashi will be given opportunities to perform F1 tests for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is conducting the Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP) with the participation of promising young drivers to identify and cultivate new talent and support their continuous improvement. This program is aimed to foster drivers who hope to compete in top racing categories, both in Japan and throughout the world. The program will continue support the activities of participating drivers through a process of selection and improvement in each category in 2007.

Reference: History of TDP
The TDP was established in 2000 as a part of the Formula Toyota Racing School (FTRS), a hands-on racing school that TMC has been operating for some time in Japan, to discover and cultivate talented young drivers through scholarships. In 2001, TMC then created the Toyota Drivers Academy (TDA) to foster young drivers overseas. The two programs were integrated in 2005 under the name Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP), allowing centralized management of activities.

In 2006, the TDP supported participation in Europe in the GP2 series as well as the F3 Euro series, a gateway to F1, and the Formula Renault 2.0 series, an introductory category. In Japan, the TDP supported drivers in the All Japan F3 Championship, which gathers those aiming to participate in the top categories in the future, the ESSO Formula Toyota series, an introductory formula series and Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), which were created in 2006 to foster young drivers. In total, 15 drivers have developed their abilities through participation.