Toyota confirms FIA deal

TOYOTA has confirmed that it has an agreement with the FIA to become the twelfth Formula 1 team. The Japanese car company has established a subsidiary called Toyota Motorsport GmbH which will oversee the company's Grand Prix plans. The intention is to enter F1 in two or three years. The company has given assurances that it will be racing in 2003 at the latest and has paid a deposit of $48m to secure the vacant 12th slot in the Concorde Agreement. The money will be refunded when the company begins racing.

Toyota is now in the process of building a windtunnel and other research facilities at its headquarters near Cologne. Toyota╩Motorsport GmbH is to be headed by former rally driver Ove Andersson who has overseen Team Toyota Europe's rallying and sportscar successes in recent years.

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