IRL: Toyota announces withdrawal end of 2006

TOYOTA TO WITHDRAW FROM U.S. OPEN-WHEEL RACING FOLLOWING 2006 TORRANCE, Calif. (June 27, 2005) -- After 12 years of open-wheel racing in the United States, Toyota will withdraw from the sport following the 2006 Indy Racing League season, it was...

TOYOTA TO WITHDRAW FROM U.S. OPEN-WHEEL RACING FOLLOWING 2006

TORRANCE, Calif. (June 27, 2005) -- After 12 years of open-wheel racing in the United States, Toyota will withdraw from the sport following the 2006 Indy Racing League season, it was announced today.

Toyota will not be participating as an engine supplier to either of the major open-wheel sanctioning bodies in the United States after 2006.

"This was simply a decision to move in a different direction after having our major U.S. motorsports emphasis on open-wheel racing since 1994," said J. Davis Illingworth, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., senior vice president. "Just as our participation in IMSA sports car racing ran its course after 12 years of participation, so has our U.S. open-wheel racing program after 12 years in the IRL and CART."

Toyota announced its decision to enter open-wheel racing in January 1994 with its entry into competition in 1996.J

The decision to withdraw from open-wheel racing will not affect either the IndyCar Series engine development program for the remainder of 2005 or the 2006 season, or any of the current contracts that Toyota has with individual teams. Toyota is in the process of reviewing how to re-allocate its resources for future motorsports plans.

A Chronological Look At Toyota's U.S. Open-Wheel Racing History

Aug. 1993 -- Toyota begins feasibility study into 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

June 2000 -- Juan Montoya wins Toyota's first CART race at Milwaukee

July 2000 -- Juan Montoya wins Toyota's first 500-mile race at Michigan

April 2001 -- Toyota announces it will enter Indy Racing League competition in 2003

2002 -- Cristiano da Matta wins CART Driver's championship with Toyota power

2002 -- Toyota wins CART Manufacturer's championship

March 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

-toyota-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Cristiano da Matta