Toyota to participate in Le Mans with its hybrid racing car

Japanese auto major, Toyota has announced that it will participate in the Le Mans in 2012 with a new hybrid racing car model.

Toyota’s petrol/electric hybrid will compete in the top category, LMP1 with the likes of Audi and Peugeot. The car will be powered by a hybrid powertrain unit, which is built by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and will come in a chassis developed by Toyota Motorsport in Germany.

The company had last competed in the competition in 1999 and had qualified on pole position. Even as the cars were very quick they faced tyre issues and two cars had to be withdrawn. The third car managed to come in the second position. The company then decided to wrap up its presence in the competition and focused on building a Formula One team.

Tadashi Yamashina, the company’s motorsport chairman, said: “Toyota has entered Le Mans before, but by using our hybrid technology this time will be a completely new challenge. We want to write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, as in the FIA World Endurance Championship, through our use of hybrid technology.”

He said that the company is also aiming to learn form the challenging environment to improve production car technology.