TOYOTA has confirmed it will join Formula One world championship racing in 2002 “The 2002 competition is sure to be a fierce fight to the finish among the world’s top automakers and we plan to deliver to motor-sports fans thrills galore right from the very start,” said Toyota’s senior managing director, Akihiko Saito.

Saito, who is also chairman of Toyota’s Motorsports Committee, said his company accelerated research and development through its German-based motorsport subsidiary, Toyota Motorsport GmbH. TMG is putting all its efforts into getting racing as soon as possible. Toyota is independently developing its own engine and racecar chassis to qualify as an F-1 Grand Prix works team, said Koki Konishi of Toyota’s public affairs division.

Japan’s No. 3 automaker, Honda rejoined Formula One world championship racing earlier this year having pulled-out in 1992.