2017 NEW TEAM PRESIDENT FOR TOYOTA GAZOO RACING (WEC)
Hisatake Murata has become the new Team President of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (WEC) and President of TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) with immediate effect.
Murata has been responsible for TOYOTA’s hybrid powertrain development in motorsport from the very first racing hybrid in 2006, and he has overseen the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) project since the team’s 2012 entry.
He takes over from Toshio Sato, who held the position since April 2015 and has now been reassigned to a key role within the Power Train Company of TOYOTA Motor Corporation.
Murata will bring his extensive motorsport experience to TMG, having previously worked on TOYOTA’s Champ Car and Group C Le Mans projects, whilst recently holding responsibility for the company’s successful Super GT and Super Formula programmes.
As well as retaining responsibility for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC project, Murata will now additionally be responsible for TMG’s other activities, which include R&D projects for TOYOTA Motor Corporation, third party services and customer motorsport.
Working in close cooperation with Murata at TMG will be Rob Leupen, Managing Director and Vice President Business Operations and Pascal Vasselon as Vice President Technical Engineering.
Hisatake Murata: “I am proud to take this new role at TMG. Since the beginning of our hybrid LMP1 project, I have built up a strong relationship with TMG members so I am looking forward to working together even more closely as we push to succeed in all areas. I would like to sincerely thank Sato for his leadership of TMG since 2015 and wish him all the best in his new position.”
Toshio Sato: “I want to thank everyone in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team and at TMG for their hard work and dedication during the last three seasons. It has been a pleasure to be part of both organisations and I am proud of the improvement we achieved together after a difficult 2015 season. I am starting a new chapter in my career within the Power Train Company but I will always support TMG and the team. Murata has my full support and I wish him a successful time at TMG.”
Histake Murata Career Highlights
1987-1993 Toyota Motor Corporation, Motor Sports Division, Race Engine Engineer Le Mans program
1995-2002 Toyota Motor Corporation, Motor Sports Division, Race Engine Engineer Champ Car program
2003-2005 Toyota Motor Corporation, Production Engine Engineer
2006-2007 Toyota Motor Corporation, Motor Sports Division, Tokachi 24hr program
2006-2014 Toyota Motor Corporation, Racing Hybrid Project General Manager
2008-2014 Toyota Motor Corporation, Motor Sports Division Le Mans program
2014-2017 Toyota Motor Corporation, General Manager, Motorsport Unit Development Division
2017-present Toyota Motorsport GmbH, President
About TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in the World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing. Since 1985, TOYOTA cars have raced in 19 Le Mans 24 Hours races, achieving a best result of second place on five occasions. TOYOTA entered the revived WEC in 2012, combining the expertise from TOYOTA Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, where the hybrid powertrain is developed, with TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH’s support and facilities for chassis development. The multi-national team is based in Cologne, Germany and includes engineers from TOYOTA’s motorsport and hybrid department, who deliver technology and know-how back into road car development. Since 2012, TOYOTA has earned 12 pole positions and won 13 races, finishing on the podium a total of 34 times. In 2014, the team won the drivers’ and manufacturers’ World Championships with the TS040 HYBRID while a year later TOYOTA celebrated 30 years since its first Le Mans entry. TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH combines its role in the WEC project with its other activities, such as the supply of a World Rally Championship engine for TOYOTA’s return to the category in 2017, as well as its engineering services business and customer motorsport activities.