2012 Toyota LMP1 Hybrid race car

2012 Toyota LMP1 Hybrid race car

Toyota is showing just how serious it is about its 2012 endurance racing comeback by announcing today its driver lineup for the newly established World Endurance Championship.

Driving the automaker’s new hybrid LMP1 prototype race car will be Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. You’ll most likely recognize Austrian driver Alex Wurz as the former Formula 1 driver and two times Le Mans winner who most recently was linked with Peugeot.

All three drivers will need to work to learn more about the specific demands of endurance racing, as well as to continuously develop the car. In the near future, this will include sessions on Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG)'s driving simulator, which already features the Le Mans track and an LMP1 vehicle model.

As previously reported, Toyota is teaming with French motorsports group Oreca for support in its endurance racing endeavor. Development of the gasoline-electric hybrid chassis, meanwhile, is being handled by TMG, the division previously responsible for building Toyota’s F1 race cars. Additionally, the team will be based at TMG’s own headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

It's expected that the new hybrid LMP1 prototype race car will be rolled out early in 2012 for extensive pre-season testing.