Long-time TOM'S engineer Tojo moves to Rookie Racing

Long-time TOM'S engineer Tsutomu Tojo has announced he will move to fellow Toyota outfit Rookie Racing for the 2022 season.

Long-time TOM'S engineer Tojo moves to Rookie Racing

Tojo (pictured above, left) has been a mainstay of the TOM'S engineering set-up for many years, helping the team to championship success in both SUPER GT and Super Formula.

He engineered the title-winning TOM'S Lexus SC430 driven by Andre Lotterer and Juichi Wakisaka to GT500 championship glory in 2006 and 2009, and remained in charge of the team's #36 entry until the end of the 2019 season.

In 2020 he moved into a technical director position, overseeing the two-car TOM'S operation and playing a role in the #36 car's dramatic title victory this year.

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Tojo was also engineer to Lotterer in Super Formula for many years, helping the German to the title in 2011, and more recently he worked with James Rossiter in 2018 and Kazuki Nakajima in 2019.

 

During this month's post-season Suzuka Super Formula test, Tojo was seen in the Rookie Racing pit box working with Kazuya Oshima and Nakajima, who made a one-off outing for the team after announcing his retirement as a racing driver.

Tojo confirmed the move in his personal blog on Tuesday, meaning he will be working with Oshima in Super Formula next year and both Oshima and Kenta Yamashita in SUPER GT.

However, it's unclear how exactly he will fit into the Rookie Racing structure and whether he will replace incumbent Kazuya Abe as the #14 car's race engineer.

Rookie Racing will be going into its second year as a fully-independent operation next season, having split from Cerumo/Inging at the end of the 2020 campaign.

While the team won the opening SUPER GT round at Okayama and finished fourth in the standings with Oshima and Yamashita, in Super Formula the team's sole driver Oshima could only manage 19th in the points with a best finish of eighth at Autopolis.

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