Toyota registers for FIA World Endurance Championship
|By Gary Watkins||Thursday, February 2nd 2012, 15:33 GMT|
Toyota has registered for the FIA World Endurance Championship in the wake of Peugeot's pull-out from the series last month.
The Japanese manufacturer has entered the championship rather than contesting individual races on an invitational basis as was originally planned.
This means it will be considered a full-time entrant, which gives WEC promoter, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the two manufacturers it requires in LMP1 under the terms of its agreement with the FIA.
A statement from Toyota read: "It was originally planned to enter only selected races, which would have fallen short of the number required to be considered a full-time entrant. Due to the unexpected changes faced by the WEC [Peugeot's withdrawal], that plan has been revised."
It is unclear if the move will result in a significant expansion Toyota's 2012 campaign with its TS030 HYBRID. It has so far announced only a one-car entry at Spa and two cars for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
Team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita added: "The circumstances for the championship changed suddenly in the last weeks and Toyota Racing considers it important to work together with the FIA and ACO to establish a successful future for endurance racing.
"We have done everything we can to show our support and we look forward to an exciting season."
A spokesman for Toyota Motorsport GmbH, which is masterminding the programme, told AUTOSPORT magazine this week: "There is a clear limitation on what we can do budget-wise and resource-wise."