TOYOTA last week united all its motorsports activities under GAZOO Racing. The move simplified the role of Toyota’s motorsports in the company’s efforts to make ever-better cars and foster new generations of car enthusiasts.
Toyota has participated in competitions around the world, including the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Super GT in Japan, and the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race-through the separate Toyota Racing, Lexus Racing and GAZOO Racing teams. Of those, GAZOO Racing in particular was created to expand the role of promoting motorsports beyond that of traditional automakers, and carry out grassroots activities aimed at creating new and ever-growing generations of car enthusiasts.
After the announcement, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, “Our founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, once said that motorsports are vital to the evolution of car making and the entire auto industry. With this in mind, GAZOO Racing has carried out activities aiming to nurture our people, develop our cars and inspire new car enthusiasts, under the belief that the roads build the people, and the people build the cars.”
Toyota will participate in races and rallies under the team name Toyota GAZOO Racing. The first event Toyota GAZOO Racing participated in was the Motor Sport Japan 2015 Festival in Odaiba, which was held by the Japan Motor Sport Promotion Organization on April 11-12, 2015 in Tokyo.
In private races such as Super GT where Lexus-brand vehicles are used, the Lexus GAZOO Racing logo will be displayed.
In the same way as the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race was used to refine the Lexus LFA, Toyota plans to promote the hands-on, boots-on-the-ground methods of training its mechanics and engineers. The knowledge acquired during the development of the TS040 Hybrid for WEC is already being utilized in the development of future hybrid vehicles. Through initiatives such as these, the knowledge gleaned through motorsports can be used to support progress in all areas of the automotive industry.
Toyota will also integrate its motorsports-related marketing, vehicle development and technical support functions, previously managed by different divisions, into the new Motor Sports Group established on April 1, 2015.