Toyota Announces Motorsports Challenges In 1999

21 January 1999

Tokyo – TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it will actively consider future involvement in Formula One (F1) racing, the world’s premier racing series, and will continue to support the CART-sanctioned FedEx Championship Series, the World Rally Championship (WRC), and the Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race as well as domestic activities in Japan.

TMC President, Hiroshi Okuda, explained the plan to consider participation in F1 racing early in the next century. TMC will undertake specific studies and research activities, including engine and chassis, to prepare for participation in F1 as a comprehensive team. The base of activities for the project will be Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) situated near Cologne in Germany. André de Cortanze will act as project leader as he did in Le Mans. Specific schedules and the format of participation are yet to be decided.

In the CART World Series (all 20 races) TMC will support four teams mainly through development and supply of engines. Toyota continues its support for Arciero-Wells Racing (AWR) drivers Scott Pruett and Christiano deMatta, and All American Racers (AAR) driver Alex Barron, and extends new support to Della Penna Motor Sports driver Richie Hearn, and Team Gordon driver Robby Gordon.

For the World Rally Championships (WRC), TMG will participate in 14 rallies in 1999. TMG enters the ‘Corolla WRC’. Like last season the drivers are Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol.

TMG will re-enter the Le Mans 24 Hours Race with three GT1 cars ‘TS020’ that meet the Le Mans GT1 regulations. The eight confirmed drivers are Ukyo Katayama (JPN), Toshio Suzuki (JPN), Keiichi Tsuchiya (JPN), Thierry Boutsen (B), Martin Brundle (GB), Emmanuel Collard (F), Ralf Kelleners (D), and Vincenzo Sospiri (I) (pairing yet to be decided). Participation at the Fuji 1,000 kms is still under consideration.

TMC will support other overseas activities. Among others the CART-sanctioned FedEx Championship Series, Toyota (TMS) supports five races either as a Title sponsor or Presenting sponsor. (1st race: Miami, 3rd race: Long Beach, 4th race: Nazareth, 12th race: US500, 20th race: Fontana.) TMS will also support, besides other teams and competitions in the USA, the Toyota Atlantic Series mainly by supplying engines (all 12 races) and will be sponsor of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

For support activities in Japan, TMS will support TOM’s and other teams competing in the Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC) with Supra and other models as competition cars, and TOM’s team and other teams in the Japan F3 championships.

TMC is considering specific programmes that will assist in the training and development of top drivers in Japan.


Download this release as a PDF below

Toyota Announces Motorsports Challenges In 1999

Media enquiries

Please click here to see the press contacts at Toyota (GB):

Show Press Contacts

For further information, please contact:

David Rogers

07825 280608 or by email at

General, alternative fuels and mobility media enquiries

David Crouch

07909 900 085 or by email at

General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries

Please understand that our press team only deal with enquiries from media representatives.

Toyota and Lexus Press Releases

To receive all Toyota and Lexus press information, please select the box below.

To update your profile type in your email address and press return. MailChimp will then send you an email confirming your details and you will then have the opportunity of amending your details.

* indicates required
All Toyota/Lexus News