Toyota Gazoo Racing will not compete in the rearranged Nürburgring 24 Hours in September, breaking a 13 year stretch at the event. The truly factory-operated team confirmed their withdrawal overnight, another impact from the COVID19 crisis.
The team’s Lexus LC car was again set to be prepared by a group of Toyota Motor Corporation employees, the mechanics and engineers from the company’s road car plants have been a standout effort in the race back to 2007 with a variety of Toyota machinery scoring several significant results including class wins.
The company explained however that the pandemic and associated restrictions have impacted hugely on the development of their vehicles, with restrictions on travel for team members and cessation of testing opportunities making significant impacts on the programme.
The statement from Toyota continues saying that with those restrictions, and with the plans for the programme set to see “engine and peripheral technology introduced for the first time this year, under this situation it is difficult to guarantee that the race can be completed safely in the extremely harsh Nur 24h race.
“We decided that we would like to postpone the participation in this year’s 24 Hours of Nür 24 hours, judging that there is a problem in ensuring the safety of many employees and related parties. We would like to ask all the fans and related parties who are looking forward to participating in the race to understand.”
The team say however that they have every intention of returning to the race in 2021, and have committed themselves, and their customer teams, to this weekend’s three hour “e-Nürburgring Race”
Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyota, who has, for many years been a key part of the N24 effort as a driver said:
“The other day, a friend who lives in Nürle sent me a picture of the “Neuru no Sakura”, which had beautiful flowers blooming this year as well.
“Every year, in front of the cherry blossoms, both the team and I prayed for safety and vowed to make better cars, and took part in the race. I can’t do that this year, and I’m sorry I can’t help it.
Although it was far from Japan, I pledged that I would continue to “make better cars” in the face of this adversity while looking at the photos.
“This year, we have decided not to participate in the race, but we will continue to take on the challenge of “making even better cars” with our employee mechanics, employee engineers, professional drivers, suppliers and sponsor partners.
“We hope that all fans will continue to monitor our activities and support us.