Toyota has appointed Hisatake Murata as the new president of its LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship as it plans for life after Porsche in the series.
Murata has worked with Toyota since 1987 in a variety of roles, being part of its WEC efforts since the formation of the championship in 2012.
Murata will take over with immediate effect from Toshio Sato, who has been relocated to Toyota’s powertrain division.
“I am proud to take this new role at TMG [Toyota Motorsport]. 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,” Murata said.
“I would like to sincerely thank Sato for his leadership of TMG since 2015 and wish him all the best in his new position.”
Murata’s appointment comes just one week after Porsche announced its decision to close its LMP1 program at the end of 2017, leaving Toyota as the sole manufacturer in the class for 2018.
While details regarding Toyota’s involvement in the championship next year remain unclear, Murata’s appointment suggests there is some kind of future for its LMP1 program.