Rumor: Toyota to return to IndyCar as 3rd OEM

Rumor has it that Toyota may make a return to IndyCar as the third engine manufacturer.

Toyota supplied engines back in the 90s and early 2000s (Chip Ganassi Racing was one of the teams running Toyota power see the photo above) when the series ran under CART. Toyota also sponsored the Long Beach IndyCar race from 1980 until 2018.

Juan Pablo Montoya gave Toyota its first-ever CART win at the Milwaukee Mile, the first of 5 races won by Toyota-powered cars in 2000. Toyota-powered cars won six races in 2001. In 2002, Toyota’s final year in the championship, it turned things around completely from its bleak debut. Toyota won the Manufacturer’s championship, 10 races, and Cristiano da Matta rode Toyota power to the driver’s championship, with Bruno Junqueira, also Toyota-powered car, finished second.

Toyota moved to the IRL IndyCar Series in 2003 and provided direct factory support to former CART teams Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing as well as other teams.

IndyCar has been trying to land a third OEM for 10 years, and if this rumor is true, it will be a positive shot in the arm for the series. Which IndyCar teams would make the switch to Toyota if this rumor were to pan out? Would Penske and Ganassi return to Toyota?