Aust Announces Retirement Plans
TORRANCE, Calif. (March 4, 2007) -- Jim Aust, who has been responsible for Toyota's motorsports activities in the U.S. for the past 10 years, has announced his retirement. Aust will step down as vice president, motorsports for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., and president and chief executive officer of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), on June 31.
Toyota's racing programs in the U.S. flourished under Aust's leadership and included a victory in the Indianapolis 500, multiple series championships and the expansion of the company's racing activities into NASCAR. Beginning in 2004, Toyota began competing in the Craftsman Truck Series with the Tundra and last year Toyota entered the Camry in the Sprint Cup Series, the premiere race series in the U.S.
"Jim has played an integral role in the growth of Toyota's racing activities in the U.S.," said Dave Illingworth, TMS senior vice president, chief planning and administrative officer. "From the high banks of NASCAR to short track midget racing, drag racing, sports cars and off-road trucks, Toyotas are now racing and winning at tracks across the country."
Aust joined Toyota in 1987 and held various management positions in the Toyota Motor Credit Corporation/Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMCC/TMIS) division before moving to motorsports in 1998.
"There are a lot of great memories, made possible by the hard work of the people at TRD and the great teams and drivers running with Toyota power," Aust said. "There was Toyota's first CART win by Juan Pablo Montoya, Gil de Ferran's Indy 500 win, a CART championship for Cristiano da Matta and an IRL championship for Scott Dixon, Johnny Greaves' multiple championships in CORR, Todd Bodine's championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the three-peat by Ganassi Racing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
"Seeing a Camry compete in the Daytona 500 last year for the first time was very special and I expect to see Toyota's first Sprint Cup victory before I retire in June."
Aust's replacements at TMS and TRD will be announced closer to his retirement date.
-credit: toyota motorsports