Toyota President Akio Toyoda has released the following statement in response to today’s news that Porsche is set to pull out of LMP1 Hybrid competition at the end of the 2017 season.
As part of the statement, Toyota Gazoo Racing has stated that it will not be issuing any further comment on Porsche’s withdrawal.
“I felt that it was very unfortunate when I heard that Porsche decided to withdraw from the LMP1 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) racing series,” Toyota said.
“At last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race, we were honored that Porsche considered Toyota as a rival. It was a great battle as we fought against each other for victory.
“Looking toward this year’s series, we aimed to rise to and even surpass Porsche’s challenge. Those thoughts drove us to work harder and put forth our best efforts in realizing new technologies and skills.
“At this year’s Le Mans, I again had the opportunity to meet and talk with Dr. Porsche. He told me that, much like us, his company participates in motorsport to enhance its production cars.
“As a carmaker that has been doing such for a very long time, Porsche deserves a great deal of respect.
“I feel very sad and disappointed that we will no longer be able to pit our technologies against such a company on the same battleground next year.
“However, the fight is not yet over. We will continue to battle with all our strength in the remaining five races of this year. Let’s make it an amazing competition that will remain in the hearts of the teams as well as of the fans.
“I am full of gratitude to Porsche, but I will save my thanks for when the season is over.
“At that time, I wonder which of us will be congratulating the other.
“Let’s look forward to that moment as we continue to fight.
“To everyone at Porsche, we’ll see you on the track!”