Having totally dominated all the things it has touched because it left, F1 refugee Toyota has nothing left to show at Le Mans, Monte Carlo, and the Dakar. So, does that imply Gazoo Racing has unfinished enterprise in Method 1?
When Toyota fled Method 1 together with a glut of different carmakers stifled by struggling outcomes and the money disaster again in 2009, it took a sabbatical for a few years. After which it went about racing in nearly each different main motor racing world championship on the planet. And it’s dominated in every single place it has raced, ever since.
Earlier than we elaborate, let’s rapidly recap that Method 1 period. Toyota introduced its intention to enter in 1999. It established a cutting-edge headquarters in Cologne and ploughed large funding and efforts into the challenge, proudly creating its personal engine and chassis in home because it went.
Toyota entered Method 1 in 2002
The world’s largest carmaker lastly arrived in Method 1 in 2002 with Le Mans hero Alan McNish and F1 hopeful Mika Salo on the wheel of a pair of brand name new TF102s powered by its personal RVX-02 3-litre V10. Salo scored some extent for sixth on debut in Australia, and once more two races later in Brazil.
It was all change in 2003 with Olivier Panis and Cristiano da Matta driving. They scored a smattering of factors for prime ten finishes to the brand new factors system topped by Panis’ fifth in Germany. 2004 was complicated. Panis, da Matta, Ricardo Zonta and Jarno Trulli all had a go within the TF105 musical chairs with Panis greatest once more in fifth on the Nürburgring European GP.
Trulli lastly rewarded Toyota with two podium seconds and a 3rd early in 2005, Ralf Schumacher added a few thirds later within the season to finish fourth within the constructor’s title. Schumacher was third once more in Malaysia’s spherical 3 the next 12 months, however the crew did not podium once more till Trulli picked up a 3rd, and Timo Glock a second in 2008.
Toyota additionally equipped engines to Williams and Jordan throughout its F1 period, however as soon as once more couple of seconds and three thirds was the very best the manufacturing facility crew may handle in its swansong Method 12 months in 2009. Eight years on, the supremely funded Toyota had not received in F1. Then the dad or mum firm made its first ever loss that 12 months. And the crew exited F1.
Toyota left F1 and not using a win in 2009
So, in different phrases, Toyota achieved little or no world championship success. Moreover in fact, Timo Glock’s half in swinging it again to Lewis Hamilton after Felipe Massa had received it for about 35 seconds. The Toyota man spun on that drenched last tour to present Lewis that very important level to steal his first title in Brazil in 2008.
Three years later, Toyota returned to the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans with its self-made sports activities racers out of its ex-F1 Cologne HQ. Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima received three races collectively in that first 12 months. Toyota’s automobiles received twice extra in 2013, earlier than taking its first World Endurance Championship in 2014.
Le Mans proved a more durable nut to crack for the crew by then often called Toyota Gazoo Racing. The brand new identify was a tribute to boss Akio Toyoda’s penchant for racing. After a double catastrophe when each main automobiles stopped on the ultimate lap in 2017, the crew bounced again to win all 5 24 Hours since. 4 of these 1-2s. Toyota took the final 4 World Endurance titles too.
Toyota additionally returned to the World Rally Championship with Yaris in 2017. Gazoo Racing quickly received the WRC Producers’ title in 2018, Ott Tänak the 2019, Sebastien Ogier the 2020 and ’21, and Kalle Rovanpera the 2022 Driver’s titles to go along with the 2021 and ’22 makers titles. Rovanpera and Ogier additionally received the 2021 and ’23 Monte Carlo Rallies.
Gazoo Racing has dominated in every single place else, since
Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa in the meantime took on the Dakar Rally and Rally Raid Championship. Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel’s Gazoo Hilux received the Dakar in Peru in 2019, and in Saudi Arabia in ‘22 and ’23. Gazoo Hiluxes additionally received the 2016, ‘17 and ‘21 World Cups, and the inaugural FIA World Rally Raid Championship in 2022.
In different phrases, not solely has Toyota Gazoo Racing dominated at Le Mans, Dakar, and Monte Carlo, but it surely has additionally received the World Endurance Championship for the previous 4 years on the trot. And it has additionally received each the World Rally and Rally Raid Championships for the previous two years too.
So, it’s secure to say that Toyota Gazoo Racing has little left to show in any of these sequence. However does it have one thing to show, some enterprise that it absolutely should sometime end, in Method 1? If, how, the place and when that ever occurs, stays to be seen.
However Toyota making a hit of Method 1 must be fairly excessive on Akio Toyoda and his Gazoo Racing gang’s agenda. And one thing Toyota followers internationally would like to see occur.
Is it time, Toyota Gazoo Racing…?