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Toyota Leaving Options Open for Hypercar Involvement

Toyota could build production-based hypercar for new proposed WEC top-class regs…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing has left options open for the FIA and ACO’s ‘Hypercar’ platform, which could see the Japanese manufacturer opt for a production-based hypercar or purpose-built prototype under the new proposed regulations.

Confirmed last week, production-based hypercars will be permitted into the yet-to-be-named category alongside the previously announced prototype-based models with hypercar styling cues. 

With details on the regulations, or how the two platforms will be balanced, yet to be released, Toyota LMP1 technical director Pascal Vasselon admitted it could look at both options.

“To position ourselves we need to have the regulations,” Vasselon said. “But we will have both [options]. We will have a hypercar we’re developing with the GR Concept. It was presented at Le Mans last year.

“We are prepared for the prototype category as well, so we need to see where it goes.”

Launched last year, the GR Super Sport Concept (pictured above) features the same 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and part of the hybrid powertrain from Toyota’s current LMP1 contender.

The timescale for production of the car, which is a joint project between Toyota Motorsport GmbH and Toyota Motor Company, has not yet been communicated. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing team director Rob Leupen, however, indicated to Sportscar365 that a purpose-built prototype, based on the initially released set of regulations, is still their favored option.

It’s understood Toyota had not been invited to the manufacturer meeting in Geneva that resulted in the proposal of the production-based concept to be pushed to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval.

“From our point of view, [The FIA/ACO] have to find a solution which is clear for every party,” Leupen told Sportscar365.

“In the end, if they both race together, I don’t mind. The more the merrier, and we are open to having the competition.

“We would definitely prefer a prototype but in the end if they can be merged or balanced or combined to the best degree of what kind of regulations, we can start.

“We have said that we are always very interested and we remain very interested.”

Vasselon, meanwhile, confirmed there have been additional meetings between manufacturers in recent weeks, with further details likely to be confirmed by the FIA and ACO on Friday.

“I think it’s important that it’s a clear regulation, it’s important that we know what to do, because at the moment we don’t know,” Leupen added.

“As long as we don’t know, it’s difficult to commit to something. We do want to commit. Hopefully in the next couple of days we have more clarity on this.”

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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