Toyota has put rumors of its exit from the FIA World Endurance Championship to rest, revealing Thursday it’s long-term commitment to the globe-trotting sports car racing series through at least the end of 2017.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed that its recently announced re-entry into the World Rally Championship, planned for 2017, would in fact be a parallel program and not marking an end to its LMP1 exploits.
Toyota Motorsport GmbH team director Rob Leupen said both programs would be run out of TMG’s Cologne, Germany headquarters, with the FIA WEC’s technological advances, particularly in hybrid technology, making it a justifiable project for the long-term.
The works squad heads into this season as defending World Champions, with Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima wearing the No. 1 badge on their Toyota TS040 Hybrid for the first time.
It has not yet been decided if Toyota’s LMP1 program would go past 2017, although with new regulations due that year, it could help influence the decision.