Mike Stevens | Sep 22, 2009

TOYOTA AUSTRALIA APPEARS to have scotched any future participation in V8 Supercars, expressing the view the company would gain little by competing in the series.

The Japanese manufacturer has been mooted as potential future arrival to the V8 scene as AVESCO continues to pursue its ‘Car of the Future’ project.

Headed by five-time Bathurst champion Mark Skaife, the ‘Car of the Future’ committee has been tasked with introducing new manufacturers and identifying measures to halt the rapidly escalating cost of V8 racing.

A V8 Supercar currently costs in the vicinity of $500,000, but Skaife and AVESCO hope to slash this price to $250,000 to follow the model of the relatively cost-efficient NASCAR series.

The introduction of Toyota has been central to the strategy as the company boasts an Australian-based production line, producing the front-wheel-drive Camry and V6 Aurion.

However, Toyota Australia Senior Executive Director David Buttner said he fails to see the benefit of the company entering the V8 series.

“My personal opinion is that if we were to enter into some form of partnership or marketing which was to promote a product other than that which we can show our customers in the showroom as a standard offering from one of our manufacturing facilities from here or overseas, then I would have to seriously question the relevance of that and the viability of such an investment,” he told the official V8 Supercars website.

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Toyota Australia has previously considered the merits of entering the category in the lead up to the 2005 season, only to withdraw its interest over fears the brand wouldn’t be able to fully capitalise on the marketing potential V8 Supercars provides.

Meanwhile, Holden Racing Team has threatened to switch to production cars unless it is satisfied with the planned ‘Car of the Future’ overhaul.

Holden is believed to be concerned by the prospect of AVESCO instituting a series featuring identically engineered machines with only superficial differences.

Company Motorsport Manager Simon McNamara said: “"If they go down a path that doesn't suit us in any way shape or form then we just won't do it. Simple as that.

“The way the world is now we could go and do some production car racing, spend significantly less money and get a couple of guys to drive a couple of Commodores that are Holden Racing Team, have a nice truck for a 10th of the cost and go from there.”

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