[TGR News] TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Outlines 2021 Motorsports Activities

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Outlines 2021 Motorsports Activities

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) focuses on motorsports and engages in activities to offer ever-better cars to our customers, including the development, production and establishment of sales projects for products created from the racing environment.

The year 2020 was difficult for TGR as numerous motorsports events were postponed or cancelled. Despite these conditions, thanks to the support of our fans, we won the teams’ and the drivers’ titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and our third consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), TGR won the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships, while in the Japanese Super Formula Championship, the teams’ title was achieved. Our quest never ends. In 2021, we will continue to push forward with all of our supporters through these difficult times, delivering the joy and excitement of driving, the energy and sensation of motorsports to a wider audience and engaging in various activities within and outside of Japan.

In addition to the WEC, WRC, Japan Rally Championship, SUPER GT and Japanese Super Formula Championship that have already been announced, we will also provide new information related to customer motorsports, driver development and ROOKIE Racing.

In the field of customer motorsports, we will offer sales and support for GR Supra GT4 as well as continuing support for the LEXUS RC F GT3 so that more customers can enjoy opportunities to enjoy racing. In order to develop Japanese drivers who are capable of competing both within and outside of Japan, we will continue to identify and support young drivers. We will also promote activities to open a wider window for everyone. Following on from 2020, this year ROOKIE Racing will participate in the Super Taikyu series with GR models. It will also start participation in SUPER GT and the Japanese Super Formula Championship. Keeping our focus on making ever-better cars through motorsports, we will offer feedback to car development based on issues pointed out by privateer teams. Taking into consideration the effects of the global spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel our participation in the Nürburgring 24 Hours scheduled for June this year.

 

Outline of Toyota’s 2021 Motorsports Activities
1) Customer Motorsports
a) GR Supra GT4
  • The GR Supra GT4 is a dedicated racecar that was developed based on the GR Supra production vehicle.
  • Sales started in Europe in March 2020. Starting in August, sales regions were expanded to North America and, from October, to Japan and Asia. Total cumulative sales have currently exceeded 20 vehicles. In 2020, a total of five GR Supra GT4 vehicles operated by three teams in Europe participated in various GT4 category races.
  • In 2021, two new vehicles are added so far. Therefore, in addition to at least seven GR Supra GT4 units participating in races in Europe, there are seven vehicles in Japan, and at least five vehicles in North America. These GR Supra GT4 cars will participate in various races as shown below.
2021 GR Supra GT4 participation (scheduled)
Europe GT4 European Series, GT4 France, Nürburgring Endurance Series, DTM Trophy, British GT Championship, etc.
Japan Super Taikyu Series, etc.
North America IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Pirelli GT4 America, etc.
b) Lexus RC F GT3
  • Through customer support for LEXUS RC F GT3, LEXUS GAZOO Racing is providing opportunities for its customers around the world to participate in GT3 races. It is also leveraging the technologies developed through race participation into enhancing its products by applying feedback to production vehicles.
Region Series Class Team Number of Vehicles
U.S. IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Vasser Sullivan Racing 2
Japan SUPER GT GT300 K-tunes Racing
arto Ping An Team Thailand
2
Super Taikyu Series ST-X Apr 1
Asia Thailand Super Series GT3 Toyota Team Thailand 1
2) Improving cars through motorsports
  • Previously, TGR has improved its cars by competing in demanding races in worldwide championships such as the WEC and WRC.
  • Since 2020, ROOKIE Racing has participated in Super Taikyu series with GR Supra and GR Yaris and cooperated with TGR for its ever-better car making through this participation.
  • With ROOKIE Racing, a diverse range of drivers participate in races, including professional drivers, gentleman drivers and manufacturer assessment drivers. Issues have been unearthed at each event, and this information has been used to make improvements. During the 2020 season, the GR Supra and GR Yaris both became series champions.
  • In 2021, ROOKIE Racing will again participate in Super Taikyu series under a new team name, and TGR will continue to work with them to create even more ever-better cars through motorsports.
Team Vehicle Driver
ORC ROOKIE Racing ROOKIE RACING GR Yaris Various drivers including Morizo, Yasuhiro Ogura, Masahiro Sasaki, Takamitsu Matsui, Daisuke Toyoda, Takuto Iguchi, Naoya Gamo, and Kenta Yamashita will race.
ROOKIE RACING GR Supra
3) Driver Development Initiatives in Japan
  • From 2020, programs for training Japanese drivers who are capable of competing in races and in rallies in Japan and overseas have been integrated within the TGR Driver Challenge Program (TGR-DC) to cultivate young racing and rally drivers.
a) TGR WRC Challenge Program
  • As already announced, Takamoto Katsuta will participate in all rounds in the WRC with the Yaris WRC.
Driver
Co-driver
Takamoto Katsuta (Japan) Daniel Barritt (UK)

b) TGR WEC Challenge Program

  • In 2021, this program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenta Yamashita, who participated in the LMP2 class of last year’s WEC, will concentrate on domestic races.
c) TGR Driver Challenge Program (TGR-DC)
  • This program aims to cultivate racing and rally drivers who are capable of competing in top racing categories within and outside of Japan.
  • Talented people are identified and, according to their level of skill, programs for further improvement including the above TGR WRC/WEC challenge programs are developed.
  • In 2021, Ritomo Miyata will make the step up to become a Japanese Super Formula Championship driver, and Hibiki Taira will become a Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship driver.
2021 TGR-DC Training Drivers (All TGR-DC Training Drivers are Japanese)
Driver Race Category Team 2020 Results
Ritomo Miyata SUPER GT (GT500) TGR TEAM WedsSport BANDOH ・SUPER GT GT500
(17th overall in series)
・Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship
(1st overall in series)
Japanese Super Formula Championship VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S
Kazuto Kotaka Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship TOM’S ・Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship
(3rd overall in series)
Hibiki
Taira
Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship TOM’S ・Japanese FIA-F4 Championship
(1st overall in series)
[2021 Race Categories of drivers from TGR-DC]
(All TGR-DC Training Drivers are Japanese)
Driver
Race Category
Kazuki Nakajima FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Kamui Kobayashi FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Hiroaki Ishiura SUPER GT (GT500)
Kazuya Oshima SUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Yuji Kunimoto SUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Ryo Hirakawa SUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Yuichi Nakayama SUPER GT (GT500)
Kenta Yamashita SUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Sho Tsuboi SUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
d) TGR-DC Racing School
  • This school aims to identify and develop racing and rally drivers who are capable of competing in top categories in Japan and overseas. It also seeks to widen the base of motorsports drivers in a healthy manner by educating people to drive correctly.
  • The school will provide support for race participation in the next fiscal year and beyond to excellent drivers with high potential who attend the school.
  • The 2021 schedule for the TGR-DC Racing School and details will be announced once they are determined.
e) FIA F4 Japanese Championship
  • TGR will support young drivers who compete in the Japanese FIA-F4 Championship series, the entry class formula category.
4) Nürburgring 24 Hours
  • TGR has decided not to race in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, planned for June 3 – 6 this year.
  • The Nürburgring 24 Hours is the starting point for TGR’s activities aimed at ever-better car manufacturing. We had to cancel our participation last year due to the global spread of COVID-19 and had been engaged in preparations for participation in this year’s event. However, as the effects of the pandemic continue this year, we decided that participation would not be appropriate.
  • TGR never stops developing people and refining vehicles to make ever-better cars.
5) e-Motorsports
  • In 2020, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused continued difficulties for real-life motorsports. However, great progress was seen for e-Motorsports in 2020.
  • In 2020, TGR supported the FIA GT Championship while also holding the GR Supra GT Cup 2020, in which approximately 27,000 people participated globally. In December, the final round was also held online, and Takuma Miyazono from Japan was awarded the championship.
  • In November 2020, the GR Yaris was made available. We offered the fun of GR Four driving, with approximately 56,000 players participating globally in the GR Yaris Time Trial.
  • In 2021, continuing as an official partner of the FIA GT Championship, there are plans to hold an original GR one-make race for e-Motorsports players worldwide. The details will be announced in mid-March.
< The following items have already been announced >
6) FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
  • 2021 marks the fifth season since our comeback in 2017. With our new team principal, Jari-Matti Latvala, TGR will aim to simultaneously win three titles (Manufacturer, Driver, Co-driver).
  • TGR will race with the Yaris WRC, which was developed mainly in Finland. The engine is the 1.6-liter direct injection turbo engine GI4A, which was developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
Team name TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT (World Rally Team: WRT)
Team founder Akio Toyoda
Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland)
Vehicle Yaris WRC (length: 4,085 mm; width: 1,875 mm)
Engine GI4A (1.6-liter direct-injection turbo with an output of over 380 horsepower)
Tires Pirelli
No.
Driver / Co-driver
1 Driver Sébastien Ogier (France)
Co-driver Julien Ingrassia (France)
33 Driver Elfyn Evans (UK)
Co-driver Scott Martin (UK)
69 Driver Kalle Rovanperä (Finland)
Co-driver Jonne Halttunen (Finland)
7) FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
  • From 2021, TGR will participate in the Hypercar Category (LMH class), which has newly started as the top class of the WEC.
  • TGR will enter the GR010 HYBRID, which was developed to be fitted with RACING HYBRID technology that was advanced during WEC competition.
  • Two vehicles will compete in the race with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH in Cologne, Germany as the base.
  • Six races will be held in the 2021 season: the first race, the 8 Hours of Portimão, will be held in April, followed by the third race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in June; the fifth race, the 6 Hours of Fuji, in September; and then the final race, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, in November.
Team name TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Team founder Akio Toyoda
Team president Hisatake Murata
Vehicle GR010 HYBRID (length: 4,900 mm; width: 2,000 mm; weight: 1,040 kg)
Engine 3.5-liter V6 turbo engine
Tires Michelin
Team
Vehicle
No.
Driver
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing GR010 HYBRID 7 Mike Conway (UK)
Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)
José María López (Argentina)
8 Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland)
Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
Brendon Hartley (New Zealand)
8) Dakar Rally
  • TGR entered four cutting-edge Hilux cars to rally raid-specifications in the Dakar Rally, which was held in Saudi Arabi in January 2021.

Dakar Rally 2021 TGR team setup and final overall position

Team Number Driver / Co-driver Overall Position
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 301 Driver Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) 2nd
Co-driver Matthieu Baumel (France)
304 Driver Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) 8th
Co-driver Alex Haro (Spain)
330 Driver Shameer Variawa (South Africa) 21st
Co-driver Dennis Murphy (South Africa)
332 Driver Henk Lategan (South Africa) Retired
Co-driver Brett Cummings (South Africa)
  • TGR supports Team Landcruiser/Toyota Auto Body (TLC), the rally team of Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., which participates in rallies with Toyota Landcruiser 200 vehicles. In 2021, TLC achieved its eighth consecutive victory in the production car category.
  • HINO TEAM SUGAWARA of Hino Motors, Ltd. achieved its 12th consecutive victory in the under 10-liter class truck category.

Dakar Rally 2021 TLC Team setup and final overall position

Team Number Driver / Co-driver Position in Production Vehicle Division*1 Position in Diesel Class*2 Overall Position
Team Land Cruiser/ Toyota Auto Body 340 Driver Akira Miura (Japan)*3 1st 1st 38th
Co-driver Laurent Lichtleuchter (France)
345 Driver Ronald Basso (France) 2nd 2nd 40th
Co-driver Jean-Michel Polato (France)
*1 Includes gasoline and diesel classes
*2 TLC competed in the diesel class of the production vehicle division
*3 Toyota Auto Body Employee

Dakar Rally 2021 HINO TEAM SUGAWARA team setup and final overall position

Team Number Driver / Co-driver Truck category
(less than 10 liters
displacement class)
HINO Team Sugawara 508 Driver Teruhito Sugawara (Japan) 1st
Co-driver Hirokazu Somemiya (Japan)
Co-driver Yuji Mochizuki (Japan)
9) SUPER GT
a) GT500 Class
  • TGR will also participate with the GR Supra GT500 in 2021.
  • We will support six teams (six vehicles) through TOYOTA CUSTOMIZING & DEVELOPMENT Co., Ltd., (TCD).
Class
Team
Vechicle
No.
Driver
Tires
GT
500
TGR TEAM
ENEOS ROOKIE
ENEOS X PRIME
GR Supra
14 Kazuya Oshima (Japan) BS
Kenta Yamashita (Japan)
TGR TEAM
WedsSport BANDOH
WedsSport ADVAN
GR Supra
19 Yuji Kunimoto (Japan) YH
Ritomo Miyata (Japan)
TGR TEAM au
TOM’S
au TOM’S
GR Supra
36 Yuhi Sekiguchi (Japan) BS
Sho Tsuboi (Japan)
TGR TEAM
KeePer TOM’S
KeePer TOM’S
GR Supra
37 Ryo Hirakawa (Japan) BS
Sacha Fenestraz (France)
TGR TEAM
ZENT CERUMO
ZENT CERUMO
GR Supra
38 Yuji Tachikawa (Japan) BS
Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)
TGR TEAM SARD DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra 39 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) BS
Yuichi Nakayama (Japan)
Tire Brand: BS: Bridgestone, YH: Yokohama
b) GT300 Class
  • In the GT300 class, two Prius PHEV, three GR Supra, and two Lexus RC F GT3 models will race.
Class
Team
Vechicle
No.
Driver
Tires
GT
300
apr TOYOTA GR SPORT PRIUS PHV apr GT 30 Hiroaki Nagai (Japan) YH
Manabu Orido (Japan)
31 Koki Saga (Japan) BS
Yuki Nakayama (Japan)
Saitama Toyopet
Green Brave
Saitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT 52 Hiroki Yoshida (Japan) BS
Kohta Kawaai (Japan)
arto Ping An
Team Thailand
arto RC F GT3 35 To be confirmed YH
To be confirmed
LM corsa SYNTIUM LMcorsa
GR Supra GT
60 Hiroki Yoshimoto (Japan) DL
Shunsuke Kohno (Japan)
K-tunes Racing K-tunes RC F GT3 96 Morio Nitta (Japan) DL
Sena Sakaguchi (Japan)
Max Racing Takanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT 244 Atsushi Miyake (Japan) YH
Yuui Tsutsumi (Japan)
Tire Brand: BS: Bridgestone, YH: Yokohama, DL: Dunlop
10) Japanese Super Formula Championship
  • TRD (Toyota Racing Development) will supply 11 vehicles from six teams with two-liter four-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engines (TRD 01F).
  • All vehicles will be equipped with tires made by Yokohama.
Team
No.
Driver
KONDO RACING 3 Kenta Yamashita (Japan)
4 Sacha Fenestraz (France)
KCMG 7 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)
18 Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)
ROOKIE Racing 14 Kazuya Oshima (Japan)
TEAM IMPUL 19 Yuhi Sekiguchi (Japan)
20 Ryo Hirakawa (Japan)
VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S 36 Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
37 Ritomo Miyata (Japan)
P.MU/CERUMO INGING 38 Sho Tsuboi (Japan)
39 Sena Sakaguchi (Japan)
11) Japanese Rally Championship
  • In 2021, TGR will participate in the top category JN1 class with two GR Yaris vehicles. We will aim for a top ranking, welcoming new driver Norihiko Katsuta.
  • Employees will participate as engineers and mechanics so that we can cultivate human resources while offering ever-better car manufacturing.
Team name TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Vehicle/class GR YARIS GR4 Rally / JN1 class
Main specifications Engine 1.6-liter three-cylinder inter cooler turbo
Drive system Sports 4WD system, “GR-FOUR”
Driver / Co-driver Norihiko Katsuta/Yusuke Kimura
Tomoyuki Shinkai/ Yuichi Ando
Team principal Satoshi Toyooka (Toyota Motor Corporation Advanced Technical Skills Institute Div.)
Chief mechanic Masashi Miyamoto (Toyota Motor Corporation Advanced Technical Skills Institute Div.)
Engineer Takashi Doi (Toyota Motor Corporation GR Project Operation Div.)
12)Japan-Based Participatory Motorsport Events
In the hope of expanding the enjoyment of driving, TGR will hold a full range of driving activities at venues around Japan in collaboration with the various regions and circuits. TGR will increase its support for people who would like to compete in participatory motorsports events such as races and rallies, while prioritizing the safety and health of participants.
a) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race
(organized by the Toyota Cars Race Association)
The 86/BRZ Race that was started in 2013 is a one-make race in which only TOYOTA86 “86Racing” and SUBARU BRZ “RA Racing” compete. In 2015, the race was divided into the “Professional Series” and “Clubman Series.” From the 2019 season, the “Clubman Series” was divided into an open class and expert class to make it easier for drivers to participate in accordance with their level of skill. Many top drivers who are currently competing in SUPER GT have also competed in the “Professional Series,” making for a very lively race atmosphere. Professionally-certified drivers cannot participate in the “Clubman Series”; only amateur drivers and gentleman drivers are invited to compete. There are plans to hold the 2021 series at seven major circuits throughout Japan in a total of eight rounds.
b) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Yaris Cup
(organized by the Toyota Cars Race Association)
The TGR Yaris Cup will be started from this season as a new participatory one-make race. It continues on from the 21-year history of the TGR Netz Cup Vitz Race, the first JAF-certified number-plated car one-make race, which started in 2000. The competing car will be the Yaris Cup Car, which is based on the new Yaris.
The support system will be enhanced further so that first-time participants in motorsports can also enjoy competing with peace of mind. In the 2021 season, the competition will be divided into two series (East Japan and West Japan) and held on six major circuits.
c) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge
(organized by the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Office)
The TGR Rally Challenge is held throughout Japan as a beginning stage for domestic rallies based on the concept of a participatory rally that anyone can easily participate in. Anyone with a domestic B license (issued by the Japan Automobile Federation; JAF) can enter the rally. A key feature is the fact that in addition to sportscars like the 86 and GR Yaris, drivers can also compete in automatic cars such as the Yaris, Vitz or Aqua.
Programs such as domestic B license classes and rally workshops are also available for individuals who are interested in rallies or who will be competing for the first time. We hope to cooperate with members of local communities where each rally will be held to keep enlivening rally challenges going forward so that they become like local festivals.