Toyota has signalled its intentions to dramatically leap up the F1 pecking order in its third season by recruiting Renault’s highly-rated technical director Mike Gascoyne for 2004.

Toyota has signalled its intentions to dramatically leap up the F1 pecking order in its third season by recruiting Renault’s highly-rated technical director Mike Gascoyne for 2004.


Gascoyne was McLaren’s aerodynamicist from 1989 to 1991. A brief spell as chassis dynamicist at Tyrell led to a three-year role as head of aerodynamics at Sauber before he rejoined Tyrell as deputy technical director in 1993. In 1998, he became chief designer at Jordan, and was subsequently promoted to technical director. Later, he became technical director at Benetton (now Renault) in 2000.


It is widely believed that Gascoyne’s expertise was instrumental in making the Renault R23B the best-handling car of the 2003 F1 season and his loss will undoubtedly be a big loss for Renault and a major coup for the fledgling Toyota team.


Gascoyne has been appointed chassis technical director at Toyota Racing. He will be work in partnership with the Japanese team’s current chief designer, Gustav Brunner.


Vice-President of Toyota Motorsport GmbH Toshiro Kurusu said: "We have decided to introduce a technical director for both chassis and engine departments in order to improve the efficiency of our team. Gascoyne will be in charge of the technical aspects of the chassis at the factory in Cologne and also at races and tests. Luca Marmorini will assume the position of engine technical director.


“Under the revised structure, Keizo Takahashi will become chief co-ordinating engineer. The position of Norbert Kreyer as general manager of race and test engineering will remain unchanged and, like Gustav, he will report directly to Mike," Kurusu added.


Gascoyne said: "I am very pleased to be joining Toyota. I am looking forward to my new role at Toyota with great enthusiasm and, together, we will relish the long-term challenge of developing Toyota into a world championship-winning team."

Original article from Car