Toyota and Aston Martin have committed to supporting the next era of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which will be based on new ‘hypercar’ regulations taking prototype racing into a new future that organisers hope will attract more manufacturers.
Toyota became the second manufacturer to announce its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship beyond 2020. The news follows hot on the heels of Aston Martin’s announcement this morning.
Toyota Gazoo Racing will take part in the 2020-2021 season with a hybrid-powered prototype based on the GR Super Sport road car. Both road and race car are undergoing design and intensive development at the company’s technical centres in Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne.
Track testing of the new race car, the name of which will be revealed at a later date, will begin next year prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season while further details of the GR Super Sport road car will be issued by Toyota Gazoo Racing in due course.
Shigeki Tomoyama, Gazoo Racing Company President, commented: “Thank you to the ACO and FIA for their hard work in finalising these regulations, which we hope will bring about a new golden age of endurance racing, with several manufacturers fighting for Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship. For Toyota Gazoo Racing, this new era of competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our credentials not only as a race team against some of the best in the business, but also as a sportscar manufacturer.”
It was also announced that Aston Martin will field a minimum of two factory Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercars, which will be specially developed for the 2020 – 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
The new car will feature a race-prepared version of its bespoke high-revving normally-aspirated 6.5-litre V12 engine.
This exciting news underlines Aston Martin’s commitment to endurance racing. It comes on the eve of the British marque starting this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans on pole in the highly-competitive LMGTE Pro class.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Andy Palmer, said: “We have always said that we would one day bring Aston Martin back to Le Mans with the intention of going for the outright win when the time was right – now is that time. David Brown came here in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021.”
Palmer added: “The Aston Martin Valkyrie is primed for such a challenge and sits perfectly within the ACO’s new ‘hypercar’ rule framework. Bringing to bear all of our previous experience and knowledge of competing at the top levels of motorsport, we embark on this most ambitious project with the necessary ingredients for success.”
Big Questions: Will a hypercar based prototype category be good for WEC?