TORRANCE,Calif. (Nov. 11, 2002) -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and Mo Nunn Racing announced today that they have reached an agreement for Toyota to supply Indy Racing League (IRL) engines to the team beginning in 2003, the manufacturer's inaugural...
TORRANCE,Calif. (Nov. 11, 2002) -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and Mo Nunn Racing announced today that they have reached an agreement for Toyota to supply Indy Racing League (IRL) engines to the team beginning in 2003, the manufacturer's inaugural season of IRL competition.
The agreement provides Toyota with its fourth team, along with Penske Racing, Kelley Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, in a quest for its first Indianapolis 500 victory and an IRL title.
"Mo Nunn Racing showed itself to be an elite-level team by finishing fourth overall in the team's first season of IRL competition, and we're thrilled that they've chosen to campaign Toyota engines in 2003," said Jim Aust, vice president of Toyota Motorsports. "Felipe Giaffone has established himself as one of the top young drivers in the sport."
Team owner Morris Nunn is considered among the most successful engineers in open-wheel racing history. Nunn engineered Emerson Fittipaldi to the 1989 Indianapolis 500 title, and he was instrumental in Alex Zanardi and Juan Montoya achieving three consecutive CART championships with Target Chip Ganassi Racing from 1997-99.
"Based on our performance in 2002, we have great confidence that both of our cars will be in the thick of the championship hunt in '03," Nunn said. "Felipe, (team manager) Peter Parrott and the entire team were so good all season and our showing at the Indy 500 was a real shot in the arm for the program we are building. Going to two cars is a logical step for us and partnering with Toyota makes our outlook incredibly promising."
Mo Nunn Racing will campaign two Toyota-powered Panoz G Force cars next season with Giaffone behind the wheel of the Hollywood Toyota. A second entry will be announced at a later date. Giaffone won his first career IRL event at Kentucky in August. He also finished third at the Indianapolis 500, where both Mo Nunn Racing entries qualified and raced in the top five.
"It's great to be on board with Toyota," Giaffone said. "They have been successful in every thing they have done. Toyota just won the CART championship, and that will be good momentum as they start their IRL program. With Toyota engines, our team will definitely improve next season."
TRD,U.S.A. commenced its operation in 1979 as the North American technical arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota's racing engines. Championship-caliber power plants have been produced for various series including CART; IMSA; SCORE, MTEG and CORR off-road racing; Toyota Atlantic; NASCAR Goody's Dash; SCCA; and Pikes Peak. TRD also distributes a premium quality line of high-performance aftermarket parts for Toyota products.