Toyota is coming back to Le Mans in 2012 with a hybrid image

The Japanese based automaker Toyota, with its motorsport division, has just announced it would come back to compete in the 2012 Le Mans 24-Hour race with a hybrid sports car in the LMP1 class, made by Toyota Motorsport GmbH, the former Formula One sub-brand of the manufacturer.

“The Toyota hybrid technology is the key for returning to the top of the motorsport industry. Toyota has competed in Le Mans, by the hybridization of the competition model is a completely new challenge. We want to write a new page in the history of Le Mans and the FIA Endurance World Championship by using hybrid technology. However, we want to gain experience to improve our models”, said the senior managing officer within Toyota Motor Corporation and the chief of Toyota Motor Sport GmbH, Tadashi Yamashina.

According to the motorsport division of Toyota, the gasoline-electric hybrid will mark the come back to Le Mans after more than a decade, when in 1998 and 1999 the GT-One was making history for the Japanese automaker.

Toyota will start testing its new competition model early next year and after that the preparation for the Le Mans 24-Hour race will start. The former racer which ran on Le Mans in 1999 for Toyota had finished on the second place after starting in pole position.

The Le Mans 24-Hour race on the LMP1 class has been won last year by the Audi R18 TDI, followed by Peugeot 908 HDI FAP.