JGR and TRD to partner in 2012

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Joe Gibbs Racing is merging its engine program with Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the same engine company that fellow Toyota team Michael Waltrip Racing utilizes, starting in 2012. This means that most of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series motors will be built in Southern California next season instead of at JGR headquarters in North Carolina.

“They will be the same,” TRD president Lee White said in a statement. “For all intents and purposes, they will be identical.”

This season, JGR has had 11 engine failures to include practices and races. Most of these failures have caused Denny Hamlin, a contender for the championship, to start in the back of the field four times.

JGR will still use its own motors for the remainder of this season, as the TRD engines don’t fit their chassis at the present team. JD Gibbs, JGR team president, hasn’t ruled out the team will use a TRD motor before the end of the season.

TRD will develop and build most of the engines parts and pieces and JGR will add its own package to the motors (and perform the same duties for MWR) once the engines arrive at their North Carolina shop.

The implementation of Electronic Fuel Injection, which debuts in 2012, also will be a cooperative effort between the programs.

TRD coming to JGR means no one at either location will lose their jobs, officials mentioned in the release. JGR will try to add Nationwide and Truck teams as customers, and TRD needed more work because of the likely departure of Red Bull Racing after the season.

White also said that the TRD/JGR move is in line with engine program consolidation across the sport, such as the Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies. Economically, it is better to build motors for many cars instead of just a handful.

“Frankly, it’s just a great deal for both organizations, as well as the Michael Waltrip Racing organization,” White said, “because it brings all three of the entities closer together cooperatively in terms of engines, drivability, supporting the engines at the racetrack, also extending into the chassis.”
JGR and TRD to partner in 2012 JGR and TRD to partner in 2012 Reviewed by Kristin Weaver on Saturday, August 13, 2011 Rating: 5