Tokyo - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today the outline of its motorsports activities for 2006, which positions FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), NASCAR, Super GT and Formula Nippon as the main pillars of its motorsports competition, while including measures to further support the foundations of motorsports.
As detailed in the outline (available in full below), for its fifth year of F1 competition, Toyota rolls out the TF106 race car, developed in response to changes in vehicle regulations, such as those concerning engine displacement. Continuing from last year, drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli are aiming for Toyota's first F1 victory.
In NASCAR, Toyota is continuing its support for the teams driving its U.S.-market Toyota Tundra pickup truck, which debuted in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004 and garnered nine victories in 2005. Toyota has also decided to begin competing in the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series in 2007 with the Toyota Camry.
Along with continuing to support teams participating in Super GT, Toyota will begin supplying engines to Formula Nippon, a premier formula racing series in Japan.
To further support the foundations of motorsports, Toyota will continue to promote its Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP), which cultivates young race drivers who hope to perform on the world stage by entering them in the GP2 series and F3 Euro series, which are geared as stepping-stones to F1. Toyota will also continue sponsoring one-make races in Japan, including the ESSO Formula Toyota Series, which is an entry-level formula category, and the Netz Cup races (Vitz Street-legal Series and Altezza Series).
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, TRD, U.S.A. Inc. (TRD-USA) in the U.S. and Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Europe serve as local hubs for regional activities.