Toyota Gazoo Racing is set to return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 Super Season, team president Hisatake Murata has confirmed.
Murata made the announcement in front of the entire FIA WEC paddock at the end of season awards gala in Bahrain.
“We’ll be back next year,” he said, when asked by FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu if Toyota had any news. The news came shortly after a Porsche tribute video from Toyota was played, which ended with the statement: “Our journey is far from over.”
Toyota will therefore be set to race in its seventh season, after it joined the FIA WEC at Le Mans (the third round of the season), back in the series’ inaugural season in 2012. The Japanese marque is set to be the only LMP1 hybrid manufacturer left in the series with Porsche exiting the LMP1 ranks at the end of this year.
However, there’s set to be renewed competition from privateer efforts including Manor, SMP Racing, ByKolles and American outfit DragonSpeed, which just announced it will campaign the 2018/19 FIA WEC “Super Season” with a Dallara BR1 LMP1 chassis, powered by Gibson’s new LMP1 engine.
Also announced at the gala was a return to the Bahrain International Circuit for 2019/20, Neveu and circuit owner Sheik Salmand confirmed.