Toyota announced Friday that not only would it participate in the brand new FIA World Endurance Championship’s inaugural season next year, but that it would be bringing a prototype hybrid to the races.
The FIA World Endurance Championship, which is scheduled to start in 2012, is a series of endurance races. The 24 Hour Le Mans Endurance Race is the peak of the new championship, which has the backing of both the ACO and the FIA. A series of challenges in Europe, North America, and Asia comprise the whole of the championship. The Toyota prototype hybrid racer will race in the LMP1 class, which is intended for manufacturer cars and has no limits on the number of cylinders, types of power adders, and generally features some of the faster cars on the course.
While Toyota’s prototype hybrid will definitely be participating in Le Mans, other specifics have yet to be decided. The team name as well as which drivers will participate and in which other races will be announced later.
The executive managing director of Toyota’s Motor Sports section offered the following: “This is not the first time Toyota has participated in Le Mans. It is, however, the first time we are putting a hybrid on the table, which is a completely new set of challenges. As Le Mans is the pinnacle of tradition for the World Endurance Championship, we will try to make history there. In addition, the engineering feedback we get from the race will be incorporated into Toyota’s vehicles. We are also grateful to ACO and FIA for their gracious acceptance of the hybrid as a contender.”