Toyota is reviewing the possibility of competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, but technical director Pascal Vasselon points out that a possible North American program for its Le Mans Hypercar is not the team’s priority.
Now that the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and IMSA have finalized the details for convergence between the LMH and LMDh rulesets, it clears the way for Le Mans Hypercar teams to make the journey across the Atlantic and compete in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
As a result, it would theoretically allow WEC’s current crop of Hypercar manufacturers – Toyota and Glickenhaus, with Peugeot and Ferrari to follow – to compete in American races.
This prompts questions about whether or not Toyota would make the journey across, potentially competing in American classics like the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring or Petit Le Mans.
Speaking to select media in the paddock at Monza, Vasselon said that he was happy with the finalization of convergence, before cautiously touching upon the subject of the GR010 Hybrid racing in the United States.
“It can only be good news, because we have been working on that from a regulation point of view since two or three years now. The target was to achieve this convergence. So it can only be good news.”
“I would say, from our side, there has never been a major target to race in IMSA, but for sure, when it will be possible to race in Daytona, Petit Le Mans, we will obviously consider it.”
“It’s something we are at the moment reviewing, because we need a budget of course, to do that. For the moment, our plan is to concentrate on WEC.”
“Now, it’s quite clear that it will be possible to race as well in the US, we just need to plan it.”
Toyota’s current presence in IMSA consists of the Vasser Sullivan Lexus GTD programme, as well as the Toyota GR Supra GT4 in the Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Historically, it is one of the most successful prototype manufacturers in history, thanks largely to the overwhelmingly dominant Eagle GTP Mark III, which won 21 out of 27 races between 1991 and 1993.
Prior to that, it has also operated heavily modified Toyota Celicas in the championship’s GTO class.