One of the stories of the season so far has been the breakdown of the relationship between Mitchell and their engine supplier Toyota and Toyota’s subsequent withdrawal from FF1M. Ahead of the launch of the 2012 FF4M South East Asia series we spoke to head of Toyota Fantasy Racing Development Shib Akariki.
FF1M : Akariki-san nice to meet you, it’s fair to say that the reason Toyota have announced their withdrawal from FF1M is in large part down to the breakdown of your relationship with Mitchell. Can you speak a little about that?
Akariki : Yes. We have found their comments extremely disrespectful and without honour and as a result we feel the situation is untenable.
FF1M : Would you have anything to say to Joe Mitchell who has in recent times described your engine as a “lawnmower engine”
Akariki : Only to say that we are, or were, a team and as such any responsibility regarding performance is shared. The engine we have produced is a reflection on the quality of data provided by our partners during testing and as a result we feel that one of those partners comments have been extremely disrespectful.
FF1M : Moving forward are there any plans for Toyota to return to FF1M in the future?
Akariki : It is unlikely at this time however we will not rule anything out at this stage.
FF1M : Thankyou for joining us Akariki-san