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Toyota open to entering road-going WEC hypercar

Toyota open to entering road-going WEC hypercar
Mar 14, 2019, 8:21 PM

Toyota hasn't ruled out entering the FIA World Endurance Championship's new hypercar concept category with a road-based contender. 

The Japanese manufacturer has revealed that it will be in a position to take advantage of the change to the 2020/21 rules announced early this month permitting road-going hypercars to race against the look-a-like prototypes originally envisaged for the category. 

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon explained that the GR Super Sport Concept unveiled in January 2018 and subsequently shown at last year's Le Mans 24 Hours could be developed into its next WEC contender.

"We will have an hypercar: you know we are developing the GR Concept [which] has been presented at Le Mans last year," he said. "We are prepared for a hypercar category." 

Toyota has previously declared its intent to continue in the WEC with a hypercar concept prototype when the new rules come into force in September 2020, but Vasselon insisted that it was too early to commit to one or other direction should it firm up its plans.

"To position ourselves, we need to have regulations," he said. "It is a bit difficult to comment because they are a work in progress."

Vasselon stressed that no timeline had been communicated regarding putting the GR Super Sport, which incorporates the running gear of the current Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 car, into production. 

The change in the rules to allow road-going hypercars to race alongside the new breed of prototypes was described by Vasselon as "positive and constructive because it may open the door to more participants".

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Aston Martin: Rule change a "positive development"

Aston Martin Racing president David King offered a similar opinion about the revisions to the hypercar concept confirmed by the March meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council. 

"What we all want is multiple bands competing at the top level at Le Mans," he said.  

"We have seen as a result of the challenge of getting enough people to commit to the regulations as they were that they have been opened up to hypercars.

"In principle, we are supportive of that and we think it is a positive development."

King denied that Aston had led the push for the change in the rules, but said that the marque intended to be a "constructive partner" as the rulemakers work out how to incorporate road-going machinery into the regulations. 

"We are playing an active part because we want to be there," he said. "We are interested and are working hard to evaluate various scenarios, but no decisions have been made."

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Photo by: Aston Martin

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