TOYOTA WITHDRAWS FROM INDY RACING LEAGUE COMPETITION
TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2005) -- Toyota will not return to Indy Racing Leagues (IRL) for the 2006 season, it was announced today.
Toyota had originally planned to withdraw from open-wheel racing following the 2006 season, but that decision was expedited one year to allow the IRL to move to a common engine for the upcoming season.
"We appreciate the time we've spent in the IndyCar Series," said Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports. "In winning the 2003 Indianapolis 500, Toyota earned its greatest motorsports accomplishment and we'll forever cherish that victory. Our gratitude goes out to Tony George and the Indy Racing League for providing us the opportunity to compete in, and win, the greatest spectacle in racing."
Toyota-powered entries won four races and six pole positions this past season. Overall, Toyota won 17 IndyCar Series races and notched 22 poles in 49 races from 2003-2005. In addition to winning the engine manufacturer championship in 2003, Scott Dixon campaigned Toyota power to the IndyCar Series title that same year.
"We truly appreciate Toyota's participation and service in the IndyCar Series," said Brian Barnhart, president and chief operating officer for the Indy Racing Leagues. "They have been great partners to the series both on and off the race track."J
A Chronological Look At Toyota's U.S. Open Wheel Racing History
Aug 1993 Toyota Begins feasibility study for entering CART competition
Jan 1994 Toyota announces it will enter CART competition in 1996
Feb 1996 Toyota makes first CART start at Homestead
Oct 1999 Scott Pruett wins Toyota's first CART pole at California Speedway
Jun 2000 Juan Montoya wins Toyota's first CART race at Milwaukee
Jul 2000 Juan Montoyoa wins Toyota's first 500-mile race at Michigan
Apr 2001 Toyota announces it will enter Indy Racing League competition in 2003
2002 Christiano da Matta wins CART Driver's championship with Toyota power
2002 Toyota wins CART Manufacturer's championship
Mar 2003 Scott Dixon wins Toyota's debut IndyCar Series race at Homestead
May 2003 Gil de Ferran wins the Indianapolis 500 in Toyota's first attempt
2003 Scott Dixon wins IndyCar Series Driver's championship with Toyota power
2003 Toyota wins IRL Manufacturer's championship