Since entering the sport in 2002 the Toyota F1 racing team has failed to secure a single victory and largely disappointed senior management back at Toyota’s Global Headquarters in Aichi, Japan.
Their frustration first came to light in April, when the Japanese team dropped Mike Gascoyne, then technical director, following a “fundamental difference of opinion with regard to the technical operations”. Gascoyne, who previously enjoyed success at both Jordan and Renault, was quoted as saying “We have reached a crossroads in our relationship and it is the right time for us to part amicably. It is the end of an era. I extend my thanks to all members of the team and wish them a successful future in Formula One.â€ Following this announcement, the Japanese giant, the second largest car maker after GM, immdiately appointed Frenchman Pascal Vasselon from Michelin as the Englishman’s replacement.
Now, eight months later, more changes have been made to ensure the future success of the Cologne based Racing Division. Yesterday it was announced that Tadashi Yamashina had become ‘Vice President of Toyota Motorsport GmBH’ and would head the team’s technical development.
Tadashi will steer the outfit alongside Team Principal Tsutomu Tomita, backed by the F1 team’s president John Howett.
Toyota Motor Corporation’s Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto also used the opportunity to issue a call to arms “As we head into the 2007 season, [Toyota] needs to strengthen its organisation.”