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Toyota Motorsports Reborn in 2014: Toyota, Lexus & Gazoo Racing

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From L-R: Lexus Racing RC F GT 500, Toyota Super Formula, Toyota TS040 Hybrid, Toyota Land Cruiser Rally, Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Code X

TMC has just announced their plans for motorsports in 2014 for Toyota Racing, Lexus Racing and Gazoo Racing. There is going to be a big push for motorsports this year as Toyota continues to reinvigorate passion into the brand.  This is a great step in the right direction as motorsports serves as a development test bed for better future products. We hope this continued push will expand into a global motorsports strategy for  both the Toyota and Lexus brands.

Here in the United States, the only push for factory-backed motorsports is NASCAR. It would be great if Toyota could revisit top tier racing like  Formula 1 and  and re-enter Lexus into the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (formerly known as the Rolex Sports Car Series). Not only is motorsports a great marketing tool, it’s the best way to strengthen the credibility of TRD and the Lexus F & F SPORT performance brands. Thanks to Akio Toyoda’s push for fun-to-drive cars, this is the start of a new chapter for Toyota history. Here are the most notable cars that will race this year. Perhaps some of these cars are a glimpse of the foreseeable future:

FIA WEC: Toyota TS040 Hybrid LMP1

2014 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the new  TS040 Hybrid. More details will come at the end of March.

Two Toyota TS040 Hybrid LMP1 cars will be fielded this season with a small displacement V8 and Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R). More details will come on the TS040 right before testing at the end of March. Pictured: 2013 TS030 Hybrid #8 LMP1.

NASCAR: Toyota Racing Camry Sprint Cup & Nationwide Series

Kyle Busch Camry LV Strip

Kyle Busch’s #18 Camry doing burnouts on the Las Vegas Stip during NASCAR Champion’s Week in Dec 2013. Photo is of 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Camry #18.


NASCAR: Toyota Racing Tundra Camping World Series

Tundra Nascar 2014

A newly revealed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2014 Toyota Tundra. It now features the new front fascia of the recently redesigned Tundra.


Dakar Rally: Toyota Land Cruiser VDJ200

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Two Toyota Land Cruiser 200 series (VDJ200) powered by a proven 1VD-FTV 4.5L V8 Turbo Diesel are running in this seasons Dakar Rally.


Super GT: Lexus Racing RC F 

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Currently the only Lexus entered into motorsports, the new Lexus RC F replaces the SC 430 in the GT500 Class. There will be six RC Fs will be powered by a RI4AG 2.0L 4 cylinder direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine. It’s unknown if this engine is related to the 2.0L Turbo that will be used in the upcoming Lexus NX. Despite the “4AG” in the designation, it may not have any relation to the proven 4A-G 1.6L 4 cylinder engine.


Super GT: Toyota Racing Prius GT 300

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A 2014 Prius will be entered into the GT300 Class of the Super GT. There are no photos of this season’s Prius so we’re using the 2012 Prius GT300 for now. Photo by Colum Wood – Autoguide.com


Formula Super Japanese Championship Series: Toyota Racing Super Formula

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This top tier Toyota Super Formula open wheel racer will feature the RI4A 2.0L 4 cylinder direct injection turbo (also used in the new 2014 Lexus RC F GT500). It will be mated to an Italian-built Dallara SF14 chassis. 11 cars will be fielded under 7 teams total using only Bridgestone tires.

Nürburgring 24 Hour Race: Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Code X

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Gazoo Racing will field 3 vehicles in the N24 including this special development LFA Code X featuring a modified 1LR-GUE with a larger 5.3L displacement V10. This “enhanced sports car research vehicle” may indicate development of something big for the future.

 

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The 2014 Toyota, Lexus & Gazoo Racing Group.

 

Jan. 30, 2014

Toyota Outlines Its Motorsports Activities for CY2014

Toyota City, Japan, January 30, 2014―Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that its community-based motorsports activities through Lexus Racing and Toyota Racing―aimed to bring more joy to more people through automobiles―will continue in various locations around the world in CY2014.Toyota views motorsports as an ideal medium for conveying the anticipation and excitement of driving cars, and through GAZOO Racing will strive to expand the reach of motorsports to attract a wide range of car enthusiasts. Toyota hopes to use these activities to hone its people, automobiles and technologies, and to use the experience personal expertise to develop ever-better cars.Toyota’s 2014 motorsports activities will include participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and its legendary Le Mans 24-hour race, the NASCAR racing series and the Super GT and Super Formula championships.GAZOO Racing will help promote grass-roots motor sports by conducting GAZOO Racing “Waku Doki” circuit events and the GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race, and by supporting the TRD Rally Challenge and other races to increase opportunities for people to enjoy cars. It also plans to participate again in the 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race.Toyota will continue to work with its affiliates around the world to promote activities for consumers to see, learn about and experience motorsports, thereby bringing the joy of cars to an even wider audience and contributing to car culture. Going forward, it will also increase its wide range of motorsports and other initiatives to better respond to dedicated car enthusiasts everywhere.
Outline of Toyota’s 2014 Motorsports Activities
1. Lexus Racing and Toyota RacingSince 2012, Toyota has been racing its TS030 Hybrid, equipped with a full racing hybrid system, in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Participating in all eight races and with two wins last year, Toyota plans to enter all races this year with two new TS040 vehicles designed to meet changes in this year’s vehicle rules. Toyota hopes to achieve its first win in this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race, the third race in the WEC series.In the United States, Toyota will continue to compete in all three categories of the NASCAR racing series. It will make its eighth consecutive-year appearance in the Sprint Cup Series, the pinnacle of NASCAR racing, with the aim of taking the Drivers’ Championship title for the first time.In Japan, the new Lexus “RC F” coupe will enter the GT500 class of the Super GT series. Lexus Racing is committed to retaining the title it claimed last year under a six-team structure. For Japan’s Super Formula racing series, new RI4A engines have been added this season to help Lexus Racing reclaim the driver’s title.Already this year, the Toyota “Land Cruiser 200” came in first and second place in the production vehicle division of the Dakar Rally in South America. The two vehicles were entered by Toyota subsidiary Toyota Auto Body with Toyota support.1) FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) – Toyota Racing
Toyota will compete in the eight FIA-sanctioned world endurance championship races continued from 2012. Highlights of the series include: Le Mans 24-hour race (June 14-15), the third race of the series; and the Fuji 6 Hour race (October 11-12), the sixth race of the series.This year, Toyota Racing plans to race two new TS040 Hybrid vehicles from Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG). Toyota is currently applying to field two vehicles in all eight races. All vehicles will be equipped with Michelin tires.

The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System―Racing) powertrain, developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan, incorporates a new hybrid system equipped with a new V8 engine and front and rear motor/generators to better power all four wheels to meet changes in vehicle rules this year. In the future, Toyota will be able to utilize the advanced hybrid technologies obtained from these activities in mass-production hybrid vehicles.

FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Racing Teams

Team

Vehicle

Driver

Toyota Racing

TS040 Hybrid

Alex Wurz (Austria)
Nicolas Lapierre (France)
Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
Anthony Davidson (UK)
Stéphane Sarrazin (France)
Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland)
Note: Starting this year, Mike Conway (UK) has been added as a test and reserve driver.

2) NASCAR – Toyota Racing
Toyota will once again compete in all the NASCAR racing series races with support from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. (TRD-USA). Like last year, Toyota will enter a Toyota “Camry” in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, and a Toyota “Tundra” in the Camping World Truck Series. All vehicles in every race category will be fitted with Goodyear tires.

NASCAR National Series Racing Teams

Team

Car No.

Driver (all from U.S.)

Joe Gibbs Racing

11

Denny Hamlin

18

Kyle Busch

20

Matt Kenseth
Michael Waltrip Racing

15

Clint Bowyer

55

Brian Vickers

3) Dakar Rally – Toyota Racing Toyota supported Toyota Auto Body, Co., Ltd.’s entry of two Toyota “Land Cruiser 200” vehicles, which came in first and second place in the production vehicle division of the 2014 Dakar Rally held this month.

Vehicle

Driver/Navigator

Position in production vehicle division1

Position in diesel class

Overall position

Vehicle 1(car number 345) Jun Mitsuhashi /
Alain Guehennec

1st

1st

21st

Vehicle 2(car number 344) Nicolas Gibon /
Akira Miura2

2nd

2nd

24th

1Includes gasoline and diesel classes
2Toyota Auto Body employee

4) Super GT – Lexus Racing and Toyota Racing
In the top category of Japanese car racing, Lexus Racing will compete in the GT500 class with the new Lexus “RC F” with a 2-liter four-cylinder RI4AG direct-injection gasoline turbo engine to meet changes in vehicle specification rules this year. Support is provided by Toyota Technocraft Co., Ltd.

Toyota Racing will compete in the GT300 class with a Toyota “Prius” hybrid.

Super GT Racing Teams

Class

Team

Vehicle

Car No.

Driver

Tires

GT500 LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO ZENT CERUMO RC F

1

Yuji Tachikawa (Japan)

Bridgestone

Kohei Hirate (Japan)
LEXUS TEAM LeMans ENEOS ENEOS SUSTINA RC F

6

Kazuya Oshima (Japan)

Bridgestone

Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)
LEXUS TEAM PETRONAS TOM’S PETRONAS TOM’S RC F

36

Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)

Bridgestone

James Rossiter (UK)
LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM’S KeePer TOM’SRC F

37

Daisuke Ito (Japan)

Bridgestone

Andrea Caldarelli (Italy)
LEXUS TEAM SARD DENSO KOBELCORC F

39

Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)

Bridgestone

Oliver Jarvis (UK)
LEXUS TEAM WedSport BANDOH (undecided)

19

(undecided)

(undecided)

(undecided)
GT300 apr (undecided)

31

Morio Nitta (Japan)

(undecided)

Koki Saga (Japan)
5) Japanese Championship Super Formula –Toyota Racing
For the top category of Japanese formula car races, Toyota has developed a new two-liter four-cylinder RI4A direct-injection gasoline turbo engine to meet changes in technical rules this year, which it is supplying for 11 vehicles in seven teams. All vehicles will be fitted with Bridgestone tires.

Japanese Championship Super Formula Racing Teams

Team

No.

Driver

KONDO RACING

3

James Rossiter (UK)
Team LeMans

7

Ryo Hirakawa (Japan)

8

Loic Duval (France)
KCMG

18

Yuichi Nakayama (Japan)
TEAM IMPUL

19

Joao Paulo de Oliveira (Brazil)

20

Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan (India)
PETRONAS TEAM TOM’S

36

Andre Lotterer (Germany)

37

Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
P.MU/CERUMO-INGING

38

Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)

39

Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)
TOCHIGI Le Beausset Motorsports

62

Koki Saga (Japan)
6) Driver Development in Japan – Toyota Racing
1) Toyota Young Drivers Program (TDP)
This program is aimed at cultivating young drivers who hope to compete in top racing categories throughout the world. It is dedicated to identifying new talent and supporting participants to improve their driving and racing skills.
List of Trainee Toyota Young Drivers Program Drivers for 2014

Driver

Category

Team

Remarks/Last Year’s Results

Ryo Hirakawa Japanese Championship Super Formula Team LeMans Super Formula(11th overall in series)
Yuichi Nakayama Japanese Championship Super Formula KCMG Japanese F3 Championship(11 wins; 1st overall in series; 12 PPs* in 13 races)
Takamoto Katsuta Japanese F3 Championship PETRONAS TEAM TOM’S Japanese F3 Championship(2 wins; 2nd overall in series; 2 PPs in 15 races)
Kenta Yamashita Japanese F3 Championship PETRONAS TEAM TOM’S FCJ (4 wins; 1st overall in series; 3 PPs in 12 races)
*Pole position, including fastest race lap time
2014 Drivers Who Participated in Toyota Young Drivers Program

Driver
(all Japanese)

This Year’s Race Category

Team

Kazuki Nakajima World Endurance Championship TOYOTA Racing
SUPER GT LEXUS TEAM PETRONAS TOM’S
Japanese Championship Super Formula PETRONAS TEAM TOM’S
Hiroaki Ishiura SUPER GT LEXUS TEAM SARD
Japanese Championship Super Formula P.MU/CERUMO-INGING
Kohei Hirate SUPER GT LEXUS TEAM ZENT CERUMO
Kazuya Oshima SUPER GT LEXUS TEAM LeMans ENEOS
Yuji Kunimoto SUPER GT LEXUS TEAM LeMans ENEOS
Japanese Championship Super Formula P.MU/CERUMO-INGING
2) Formula Toyota Racing School in Japan (FTRS)
The Formula Toyota Racing School (FTRS) is a three-day, two-night program that covers everything from racing basics to participation in simulated races. The school provides a way for Toyota to conduct driving education and promote the expansion of its motorsports foundation through the discovery and cultivation of Japanese racing drivers able to compete in top racing categories around the world. A tryout is held among the most outstanding participants with future prospects to select a driver who will receive a scholarship for the following year. (2014 FTRS schedule is to be determined.)3) Japanese Formula 4 (F4)
Toyota will support young Japanese drivers participating in Japanese F4, the entry-class category comprising two series (east and west) with nine competitions and twelve races.7) Other Support Activities in Japan – Toyota Racing
1) Development support for FIA Formula 4
Through Toyota Tecnocraft Co., Ltd., Toyota will develop vehicle bodies and engines in line with new rules for FIA Formula 4 to promote grass-roots motor sports and support Japan’s auto-racing industry.
2. GAZOO Racing
Toyota, through GAZOO Racing, will provide even more opportunities during 2014 for people to enjoy driving cars.GAZOO Racing will roll out a range of driving experiences and motorsports events tailored to individual driving skills where the public will be able to participate with their own (production model) vehicles. It will hold a nationwide program of events including GAZOO Racing “Waku Doki” circuit events, while also providing a full range of support for beginner race drivers through the GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race in Japan.As part of initiatives to develop ever-better cars, GAZOO Racing will again participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race that it first entered in 2007, as well as providing training for “automotive seasoning” personnel, and continuing to commercialize GRMN, G’s and other models that enable car enthusiasts to experience the joy of driving.1) Car-enjoyment activities in Japan
1) Venues to enjoy automobiles
Throughout the year, GAZOO Racing will link regions and circuits around Japan to provide venues and a full range of driving experiences for people to operate and enjoy driving cars.

i) GAZOO Racing “Waku Doki” circuit events and sports driving lessons
In addition to providing the public with a deeper understanding of basic vehicle operations, GAZOO Racing is delivering programs designed for beginners to easily and safely enjoy cars and give them a taste of circuit racing. GAZOO Racing will hold more than 20 Regular Circuit Racing Programs around Japan in 2014. In addition, it will launch a new program of activities at Mega Web in Tokyo and other accessible venues, enabling people to easily experience full braking and slalom driving. GAZOO Racing will also offer sports driving lessons at circuits around Japan for drivers wanting to improve their proficiency in sports driving or to take the next step and compete in events such as the 86/BRZ Race.
GAZOO Racing “Waku Doki” Circuit Events and Sports Driving Lesson Schedule

Date

Location

Type

Date

Location

Type

Mar. 30

Twin Ring Motegi

b

Aug. 4

Okayama International Circuit

d

Apr. 8

Sportsland Sugo

d

Aug. 13

Autopolils

c

Apr. 15

Fuji Speedway

d

Aug. 14

Autopolils

d

May 17

TS Takasaki Circuit

c

Sep. 2

Tsukuba Circuit

d

May 25

Sportsland Sugo

b

Sep. 6

Okayama International Circuit

b

Jun. 2

Suzuka Circuit

c

Sep. 12

Twin Ring Motegi

c

Jun. 3

Tsukuba Circuit

c

Sep. 23

Maze Sea Circuit

c

Jun. 27

Fuji Speedway

c

Sep. 27

Ebisu Circuit

c

Jul. 5

Tokachi Speedway

c

Sep. 30

Fuji Speedway

c

Jul. 6

Tokachi Speedway

b

Oct. 26

Suzuka Circuit

b

Jul. 15

Fuji Speedway

d

Oct. 30

Okayama International Circuit

c

Jul. 27

Fuji Speedway

b

Nov. 9

Autopolis

b

Aug. 2

Sportsland Sugo

c

Nov. 30

Asan Circuit

c

Note: Other events will be announced (in Japanese language) on the GAZOO Racing website (http://gazooracing.com/) when finalized. TMC plans to hold regular “Waku Doki” (Full Braking and Slalom Experience) circuit events at Mega Web.

Guide to Waku Doki Events, Programs and Lessons
a. “Waku Doki” Circuit Event (Full Braking and Slalom Experience)
Participants experience vehicle behavior
b. “Waku Doki” Basic Circuit Racing Program
Beginner-level circuit experience for 30 to 60 minutes
c. “Waku Doki” Regular Circuit Racing Program
Full circuit driving experience
d. Sports Driving Lessons
Next step for competing in events such as the 86/BRZ Race

ii) GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race and GAZOO Racing Netz Cup Vitz Race one-make races (Organized by the Toyota Cars Race Association)
GAZOO Racing will hold races for street-legal cars. On top of an additional three races this year―bringing the total number of races in the GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race competition to ten―there will be more opportunities for those not selected in the preliminary finals to still participate in the final race.
GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race Schedule

Date

Location

Date

Location

Mar. 29–30

Twin Ring Motegi

Jul. 26

Fuji Speedway

Apr. 27

Sportsland Sugo

Sep. 6–7

Okayama International Circuit

May 17–18

Fuji Speedway

Sep. 20–21

Fuji Speedway

Jun. 7–8

Fuji Speedway

Oct. 12

Autopolis

Jun. 29

Tokachi Speedway

Nov. 8–9

Suzuka Circuit

GAZOO Racing Netz Cup Vitz Race Schedule

Date

Location

Date

Location

May 3–4

Fuji Speedway

Aug. 10

Fuji Speedway

May 11

Suzuka Circuit (East)

Aug. 24

Tokachi Speedway

May 24–25

Sportsland Sugo

Sep. 6–7

Okayama International Circuit

May 31–Jun 1

Autopolis

Sep. 13–14

Autopolis

Jun. 7–8

Fuji Speedway

Sep. 27–28

Sportsland Sugo

Jun. 29

Tokachi Speedway

Oct. 5

Tokachi Speedway

Jul. 5–6

Suzuka Circuit

Oct. 12

Autopolis

Jul. 19–20

Sportsland Sugo

Oct. 26

Twin Ring Motegi

Aug. 2–3

Okayama International Circuit

2) Contribution to grass-roots motorsports promotion
GAZOO Racing aims to help increase the number of participants in grass-roots motorsports events by sponsoring teams competing with the “86” and working with teams to communicate the appeal of motorsports.

i) Sponsorship of Super Taikyu Endurance Series team
GAZOO Racing drivers (Masahiko Kageyama, Takuto Iguchi and Naoya Gamou) from Team GAZOO Racing Spirit will compete in the GAZOO Racing Spirit 86 car in all six races of the series.
Super Taikyu Organization website (Japanese only): http://www.supertaikyu.com/ii) Sponsorship of a team competing in the Japanese Rally Championship Japanese Rally Competition Association (JRCA) website (Japanese only): http://www.jrca.gr.jp/iii) Sponsorship of the TRD Rally Challenge
TRD Rally Challenge website (Japanese only): http://trdrallychallenge.jp/

3) Providing venues for car-enthusiast interaction
Toyota will promote initiatives to increase venues and opportunities for car enthusiasts to gather around vehicles and share their dreams, hopes and enthusiasm for cars.

i) Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival
The festival attracts a large number of car enthusiasts of everything from racing cars to well-cared-for personal cars. Toyota again plans to hold the festival at Fuji Speedway on November 23.ii) GAZOO Racing exhibits at custom car shows in Japan
By opening GAZOO Racing booths at custom car shows such as the Tokyo Auto Salon held in Japan every year, Toyota interacts with car lovers and enthusiasts as they look at GRMN, G’s and other concept cars and obtains feedback to be used in product planning.

2) GAZOO Racing initiatives to develop ever-better cars
1) Competing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race
GAZOO Racing will enter three vehicles in the 42nd Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race in Germany: a Lexus “LFA,” a Toyota “86” and a newly added research vehicle, the “GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA Code X”.

The GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA Code X was created to enable the study of future sports car technologies. Compared to the LFA’s base 4.8-liter V10 engine, the research vehicle’s engine displacement has been increased to 5.3 liters and system output and torque has been fine-tuned to better suit the Nürburgring course. Other enhancements include a full carbon frame body to enhance body-rigidity while reducing vehicle weight.

The GAZOO Racing team has been competing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race since 2007. By providing its own engineers and technicians for race team support, Toyota aims for the race to serve as an opportunity to cultivate “automotive seasoning” personnel able to develop ever-better vehicles.

GAZOO Racing Team Participation in the 42nd Nürburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race

Team name

Vehicle

Drivers

Engineers and technicians

GAZOO Racing

GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA Takayuki Kinoshita, Hiroaki Ishiura,
Kazuya Oshima
TMC personnel
GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA Code X Akira Iida, Juichi Wakisaka, Takuto Iguchi
GAZOO Racing Toyota 86 Masahiko Kageyama, Kumi Sato, Naoya Gamou
Source: Toyota Racing
Ryan B.
Ryan B.
Toyota, Lexus, Scion Connoiseur Also known as Flipside909, a lifelong Toyota & Lexus owner/enthusiast, community supporter, traveler and foodie.
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  • […] the outgoing SC 430 for the upcoming 2014 Super GT season. A great sign of things to come as TMC expressed their push for motorsports in the coming year. It looks like Lexus Racing is off in the right direction with the new Lexus RC […]

  • […] just under 2,800 lbs. It will be powered by a V8 powertrain with over 540 HP. TMC announced that Lexus Racing will have prominence in 2014 and it is welcome news that this GT3-compliant RC F’s will be supplied to racing teams […]

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