Toyota

Toyota on the hunt for the next production engine manufacturer

Toyota on the hunt for the next production engine manufacturer

Another possible partner – and what seemed at times this fall, likely – for IndyCar in the nearly decade-long search for a third engine maker appears to be off the table.

In December, Roger Penske told a crowd of racing fans attending the Performance Racing Industry show at the Indianapolis Convention Center that his series had “two (new engine manufacturers) we’re talking to, and one is in its final stages. . For months leading up to that early December morning, mounting speculation and rampant rumors in the paddock suggested that Toyota had picked up the mantle as IndyCar’s latest and greatest hope alongside longtime partners Honda and Chevy, which at the end of 2020 signed a long-term agreement with IndyCar ahead of the rollout of a new engine formula in 2023.

Roger Penske watches from the Paretta Autosport pit as the team competes in open practice on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Penske’s willingness to bluntly state that the series could be nearing the finish line was perhaps the closest sign that a third OEM would join the series since Lotus’ disastrous year-long campaign in 2012.

But after IndyCar talks in recent years have failed with Ferrari, Porsche and others, Toyota Racing Development chairman David Wilson said on Thursday that his Japanese automaker does not see a jump in U.S. racing at open wheels as part of its plans “in the next two years”. .”