The Group C Toyota has been campaigned in distance races in Japan and Europe, including last year's 24 Hours of LeMans, in which it finished 12th.
After being refitted to IMSA rule specifications in Gurney's Santa Ana shop, it will be driven at Daytona by Chris Cord of Beverly Hills, Drake Olson of Bridgewater, Conn., and Steve Bren of Irvine.
A Gurney-prepared Toyota Celica driven by Cord won the GTO championship in 1987.
"Toyota and I have successfully worked our way through the ranks of IMSA," Gurney said. "I feel as if GTU was primary school, GTO was high school and now, with GTP, we've hit the university level."
If Fangio's tests go as expected, the new Toyota will make its debut March 5 in the Miami Grand Prix, a 3-hour street race. Fangio, Willy T. Ribbs of San Jose and Rocky Moran of Pasadena will do the driving.
DRAG RACING--Time trials for the 29th annual Chief Auto Parts Winternationals will start today at Pomona Raceway, at the L. A. County Fairplex, and will continue Friday and Saturday. Final eliminations in the $893,400 event, first of an 18-race National Hot Rod Assn. season, will start Sunday at 11 a.m. More than 500 drivers in 9 classes will open their bids for more than $1 million in season-ending Winston bonus awards.
COPPER CLASSIC--Three of the four winningest drivers in United States Auto Club history--A. J. Foyt, Rich Vogler and Gary Bettenhausen--will compete in the $165,000 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Main events will be run Sunday for stock cars, midgets, supermodifieds and Silver Crown championship cars.
MOTOCROSS--The second race in Goat Breker's California Winter Series will be held Sunday At Glen Helen Park in San Bernardino. World 125cc champion Jean-Michel Bayle of France won the opener last month at Perris Raceway.
SPORTS CARS--The late Al Holbert's car number, 14, will be retired from International Motor Sports Assn. competition, during ceremonies at this weekend's 24-hour race at Daytona Beach. Holbert, 41 when he was killed in an air accident last September, won 49 IMSA races, more than any other driver, and 5 IMSA championships, in 1976, 1977, 1983, 1985 and 1986.
IROC--Two champions out of the past, Foyt and Richard Petty, have been named to drive in the International Race of Champions. The 4-race series in identically-prepared Chevrolet Camaros, will start Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. The 12-driver field will be filled with sports car drivers Hurley Haywood, Geoff Brabham and Scott Pruett, plus stock car driver Terry Labonte.
OFF-ROAD--The Miller High Life Off-Road Challenge will open a 5-race series Sunday at Glen Helen Park in San Bernardino--the opposite side of the facility from the motocross site.