Toyota Gazoo Racing will not make a final decision on its future in the FIA World Endurance Championship until October at the earliest, according to team technical director Pascal Vasselon.
Following Porsche’s sudden announcement in July that it would be ending its LMP1 program at the end of the year and leaving Toyota as the sole manufacturer in the WEC’s premier class, questions have been raised about the future of the category and the Japanese marque’s role.
Under contract to race in the WEC until the end of 2019, Vasselon said a decision would be taken once further details about the championship are made clear in the coming weeks, with more information set to be announced today in Mexico City.
“As you know, there will be some announcements soon. We just need to get this information, look at it, and come back with an opinion and then some decisions,” Vasselon told select media including Sportscar365 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
“It will not be before October at least, to make up our minds. We just need to wait and see what will be coming in the next hours and days.
“It’s difficult to comment at the moment because basically we did not get an announcement of what the ACO and the FIA want to do. So it’s a bit premature to discuss that.”
Vasselon confirmed that Toyota would “most probably” run two cars at Le Mans next year should it return, but did not rule out fielding just a sole entry to the LMP1 class.
When asked under what conditions Toyota would keep racing in LMP1 next year, Vasselon stressed the importance of added competition, with fresh regulations announced at Le Mans with a view to 2020.
“If we stay, it will be for the prospects of 2020. It is for the prospect of welcoming competitors later,” he said.
“We need to understand where the calendar goes, if competitors are coming, and where based on that where the regulations go. These are the three elements: calendar, competitors and regulations.
“This weekend we are here to get information to understand what will be the conditions. Don’t expect any statement from our side in the next days. You can come back with questions, but you will not get answers.
“We are left where we were at Le Mans, the shared announcement of 2020. Things are changing, obviously. Now we need information and we need to understand what will happen and what will be our circumstances and make up our mind and tell what we will be doing.
“But again, not before October. I don’t expect from our side any statement before October.”
John Dagys contributed to this report