Miyata has been provided an opportunity to race in Europe following a stellar home season in 2023 through which he grew to become solely the fifth driver to win titles in each Tremendous Components and SUPER GT in the identical calendar yr – and by far the youngest to take action.
The 24-year-old additionally impressed Toyota’s Hypercar squad as a part of his position as a ‘WEC Problem Driver’, though he missed out on a chance to check the championship-winning GR010 HYBRID within the Bahrain rookie check because of a conflict with the SUPER GT finale at Motegi.
The chance to race in each F2 and ELMS in 2024 is geared toward getting ready him additional for a attainable commencement right into a Hypercar seat, doubtless when Kamui Kobayashi finally hangs up his helmet to focus totally on being the squad’s group principal.
“Initially, I need to categorical my honest gratitude to ‘Morizo’ [Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda] and everybody at TGR for giving me the chance to drive in FIA F2 and ELMS,” stated Miyata.
“I’ve been chosen as a coaching driver for the WEC Problem Program beginning in 2023, which has given me extra alternatives to journey to Europe with the group and take part in Hypercar simulator exams with TGR-E.
“Everybody has been very supportive of my want to be lively worldwide.“I’m additionally very honored to have been chosen as a reserve driver for the TGR-WEC group. I’m thrilled that such a chance has come my approach.
“I want to thank Morizo, President [Koji] Sato, and everybody at TGR for giving me this chance, in addition to everybody on the European group.”
Picture by: Masahide Kamio
Ritomo Miyata, VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S
Miyata will drive for Cool Racing in ELMS, however his precise group for F2 is but to be revealed.
Scheduling conflicts with Tremendous Components and SUPER GT imply he gained’t be returning to Japan subsequent yr to defend both of his titles.
Initially, Miyata was anticipated to proceed with TOM’S in Tremendous Components subsequent yr and mix that drive with a programme in WEC’s new LMGT3 class with Lexus.
Nonetheless, he’ll as a substitute ply his commerce in F2, with Toyota explaining that Ryo Hirakawa’s signing as a Components 1 reserve for McLaren performed a task in Miyata being diverted to the grand prix racing ladder.
The Japanese driver may also race within the ELMS as a substitute of the WEC, and though the precise class through which he’ll race is but to be revealed, it opens the prospect of racing in LMP2 as a substitute of GT equipment.
Whereas Toyota’s coaching programme was initially centered on the WEC, it is going to now be opened as much as embrace all kinds of classes. As a part of this shift, Toyota WEC Problem will probably be rechristened because the TGR International Driver Problem Program (TGR-G-DC).
Kazuki Nakajima, Vice Chairman of Toyota’s WEC squad, stated: “Because the WEC Problem Program has been deciding on coaching drivers since final yr and planning Miyata’s actions for 2024, I’m comfortable that these alternatives for F2 and ELMS had been made attainable, and I want to thank all these concerned.
“Particularly, his participation in F2 was made attainable by Morizo’s encouragement and help of Hirakawa’s alternative to grow to be a McLaren reserve driver together with Miyata’s personal achievements in 2023.
“It is a nice alternative for Miyata to realize expertise in each system and endurance racing and can open up many prospects past that, relying on how arduous he works.
“The identify of the coaching programme will probably be modified from ‘TGR WEC Problem Program’ to ‘TGR International Driver Problem Program,’ which I feel is extremely important.
“We should make this programme open up numerous alternatives.”
There’s one conflict between F2 and ELMS in 2024, with the previous’s go to to Silverstone in July falling on the identical weekend because the 4 Hours of Imola.