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Toyota hybrid to compete in Le Mans

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Toyota is to compete in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours with a new race car powered by a petrol hybrid powertrain .

Toyota’s return to the world’s most famous endurance race will be with a new LMP1 chassis designed, developed and produced by Toyota Motorsport in Germany, equipped with a hybrid petrol powertrain engineered by Toyota in Japan.

Participation at Le Mans will be one of a number of races Toyota proposes to enter in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, a competition that will enable it to further explore the potential of its hybrid technology.

The new team will be based at Toyota Motorsport’s Cologne headquarters and it is expected that the new car will be rolled out early in 2012 for an extensive pre-season testing programme.

Toyota last competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours as a manufacturer in the late 1990s racing the GT-One, a car which established a new race lap record in 1999.