Racing every kind of road

To make ever-better cars

From racing circuits to rally stages, across the world there’s a whole host of motorsport series that excite fans with their heady mix of spine-tingling speed, raucous noise and exceptional bravery. Toyota’s rich history in motorsport spans seven decades and now we’ve united all of our worldwide racing activities under one name: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.

Pushing the limits for Better

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing embodies
TOYOTA’s commitment to overcoming
every limit to make “ever-better’ cars.
To forge new technologies and solutions
under the extreme conditions of motorsports,
we will never stop innovating.
We race our cars to push ourselves to learn
from the toughest challenges.
Competing on every kind of road,
no matter what the challenge,
inspires us to build "ever-better" cars.
We’re engineering TOYOTA’s future DNA.
We’ll keep competing to bring the freedom,
adventure and joy of driving to everyone.

New name, same fierce desire

As early as the 1950s our founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, was so convinced of the merits competition provided his company, he once lauded:
 
"Motorsport is more than just entertainment. It is vital to the development of the Japanese car industry. Just as athletes test their capabilities by competing with all their strength in the Olympics, car makers use motorsport as an opportunity to push a vehicle’s performance to the limits and compete for supremacy, enabling them to discover new ways of advancing automotive technology.
 
It’s not just about researching cars – machines must work in harmony with people to bring out their true capabilities. Just like the wheels of a car, motorsport and Japan’s car industry can only move forward together."

 
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Today, "GAZOO" refers to the word “Garage”: a very intimate place where people work together to improve the smallest details, with the aim of delivering ever-better cars and services for each customer, in each garage. As such, the name embodies the spirit that drives TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.
 
Under the banner of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, Toyota’s motorsport activities include: the cutting-edge World Endurance Championship; the prestigious World Rally Championship; the “world’s toughest race”, the Nürburgring 24 Hours; the demanding Dakar Rally; and the challenging Five Continents Drive Project.

Learning from the toughest challenges

Building world rally cars challenges us to create vehicles that can be pushed to the limit on a high-speed chase through every imaginable type of road in the world. Following a sabbatical of 17 years, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has made an exciting return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017 and with it, the fascinating prospect of seeing vehicles you’ll recognise, like the Yaris, being subjected to the most demanding conditions on the planet! Under the body of the Yaris WRC is a 1.6-litre turbo-charged, direct-injection engine that produces around 380hp and a chassis tuned through advanced simulation and production techniques.

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Led by four-time time World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen in workshops in Finland, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC comprises a team of dedicated specialists and passionate rally lovers. After months of intensive testing, the all-new Yaris WRC rolled down the start ramp of the world’s oldest rally, Rally Monte-Carlo, ready for a gruelling calendar. Surpassing all expectations, the experienced pairing of Jari-Matti Latvala and Miika Anttilla secured second place in the season-opening Rally Monte-Carlo and a sensational victory at Rally Sweden.
 
For what’s thought of as a development year, the team couldn’t have wished for a more positive start to the championship – here’s to continued success in the team’s debut season!

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Engineering Toyota’s future DNA

Exciting, exhilarating and enthralling, the World Endurance Championship (WEC) represents the pinnacle of innovation, reliability and teamwork. Spanning nine races around the world – including the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing re-entered the championship in 2012 and has participated in the historic Le Mans race since 1985. The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans was Toyota’s 18th entry and, heartbreakingly, victory escaped the team just minutes from the chequered flag, but TOYOTA GAZOO Racing vows to keep pushing towards even greater success.

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Coping with the extreme punishment of races that stretch from six to twenty-four hours are our two cutting-edge TS050 HYBRID endurance race cars that deliver a power output close to 1,000hp. Harnessing hybrid power for explosive acceleration, efficiency and reaching speeds in excess of 330km/h, these sophisticated hybrid machines (like Toyota road cars) recover energy under braking that’s stored in a battery ready for use later.

 
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Between our first WEC race in 2012 and winning the championship in 2014, the experience that we’ve gained has significantly progressed the development of Hybrid technology in our road cars – in areas such as downsizing and cooling – fulfilling our quest to make ever-better cars and bring the joy of driving to everyone.

World’s toughest race

GAZOO Racing first entered the 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race in 2007. Known as ‘the world’s toughest race’, manufacturer-backed and privateer teams from around the world descend on the 25km circuit in Germany – commonly known as the Green Hell – to see if they are up to the challenge.

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In 2016, our tenth and the 44th running of the race, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing entered three cars: the all-new Toyota C-HR Racing, the Lexus RC and the Lexus RC F. The Toyota C-HR Racing – a race-specification version of the forthcoming Toyota C-HR crossover – was driven by a team of four drivers. After an exhausting 24 hours, the team took a hugely satisfying 84th place in the race and third in class.

 
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As well as providing invaluable feedback for our ongoing road car development, the race also allows us to progress ever-better personnel. Each year, our in-house engineers and mechanical specialists are involved throughout the development of that year’s race car – and during the race itself – gaining invaluable knowledge to be shared with colleagues with a view to honing and improving the production cars of the future.

Survival of the fittest

The Dakar Rally is the most demanding motorsport event in the world and is famous for the punishment it hands out to both teams and machinery on a daily basis. For the past nine years the rally raid has been held in South America where competitors are forced to find the quickest path across the continent’s arduous terrain, including mountains, deserts and rivers.

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Since its inception in 1979, Toyota has been prominent in the rally. Competing in both divisions of the four-wheeled category, Toyota vehicles are a very popular choice among competitors with several teams, including TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa and Toyota Auto Body, entering Land Cruiser, Hilux and other models for their robustness, ease-of-maintenance and reliability.

 
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In 2017, the results were very encouraging for Toyota, with 28 out of the 57 cars at the finish being Toyota-made – including three Toyota Hilux in the top ten. Team Land Cruiser Toyota Auto Body emerged victorious for the fourth consecutive year in the Production Division category, while Hino Team Sugawara also came in first for the eighth straight year with their Hino Ranger in the Truck category. Toyota will continue to use the experiences learnt from the annual Dakar rally in its quest to make ever-better cars.

Five Continents Drive Project

Born from a shared passion for embracing the challenges of motorsport, the Toyota 5 Continents Drive Project challenges Toyota employees to drive Toyota vehicles across five continents by 2020. A merciless marathon of cultures and climates, it provides our employees with first-hand experience of the essence of ‘fun-to-drive’ – experiences that we can draw on, now and in the future, to ensure we’re building ever-better cars.
 
With a number of short-term goals to achieve – such as winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans after coming so close in this year’s race – and the challenge of returning to the WRC, it’s important that we continue to convey the spirit of GAZOO in everything we do and share the excitement of racing with our customers and fans – the people that share our unwavering passion for motorsports.

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