Toyota is bringing its various overseas racing activities under the common banner of Gazoo Racing and the purview of its new Motor Sports Group, coordinating the company's various racing activities around the world.
Two weeks ago, Audi released its short video about this years 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now Toyota has put the experience into its own words and pictures. Called The Ultimate Endurance Race, the clip and accompanying press release focus on how hybrid power helped Toyota claim second and fourth places with the TS030 Hybrid in just its second year competing at Le Mans.
"Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht," goes the old Yiddish proverb. Man plans, God laughs. And that certainly applies to motor racing, where engineers, mechanics, strategists... entire teams spend day and night over the course of months preparing to campaign their new race car, only for it all to go horribly wrong at the last minute. And that's what the folks at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany, are apparently facing now.
F1 drivers typically have a shelf life shorter than what you otherwise might call a career. As the constant stream of new, young drivers usurps existing F1 seats, you're left with a wealth of talent available to contest other forms of motorsport. That's how you end up with former grand prix pilots in other series like IndyCar, DTM and even ice racing. Then there's Le Mans.
The shutdown of Toyota's Formula One program should have resulted in a mass layoff of the team's personnel, right? Well it didn't. While some may have gone their separate ways, others have been hired; and despite the essential absence of an actual F1 program, Toyota Motorsport GmbH is still alive and keeping plenty busy.
The buck's got to stop somewhere. Toyota has been pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars into its Formula One racing program for seven years now and has little to show for it. Now after both Honda and BMW have mothballed their F1 teams, Toyota has confirmed longstanding speculation by doing the same.
It's during moments like these that you know Toyota wishes it had a heavy-duty version of the Tundra. While the currently-available versions are capable of rescuing shipping containers in distress, and can make like the Millenium Falcon escaping from a giant space slug, they cannot haul the transporter that carries the Tundra race trucks. As our friends at Jalopnik show, at the Texas State Fair, that task is left to the maximum-cojones of a Chevy Silverado 3500 HD. Oh, what a feeling... of humil