Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival 2014

When we talk about global motoring giants, it is hard to omit Toyota Corporation.  Over years, Toyota has established itself as the largest and most successful automobile company in history, while being well known for their series of successful business decisions, record profits, and as for car guys - their motorsport heritage. 

Today we visit Fuji Speedway where Toyota and their subsidiary Gazoo Racing organized a motorsport festival to show off their...
 
latest innovations, ...

...racing technologies, ...

...as well as a bit of history.


Toyota broke into world of sports cars with the 2000GT powered by legendary Yamaha I6 engine.

No other Japanese car could rival 2000GT's exclusivity and character, until Toyota unveiled the high performance super-car of their own, wearing the prestige Lexus logo - the LFA.

With only 500 produced world-wide this machine is one of the most sought after and it was incredible to see at least a dozen show up at this event.

Undeniably, the LFA is a modern pinnacle of performance and exclusive vehicles deserving its place in the line-up of all-time classics.

Toyota wasn't going to just sit there and wait for the cars to get sold out.  A true sports car doesn't deserve its fame unless it enters a competition.

With Lexus engineers spending so much time on the Nordschleife, it was predetermined that the competition of choice for the LFA would be the Nürburgring 24 hours endurance race, which it had entered for 3 years consecutively.  Notably, one of the drivers of this very No 14 car was Akio Toyoda - the president of Toyota Motor Company.

The LFA is only a small part of Toyota's racing heritage as a significant part of the heavily modified production vehicles find their way onto the track.

Notably Toyota Soarer was and still is one of the most desired drift cars.

And while same can be said about the 86, this example competed in the 24H Nürburgring endurance race in 2012.

Somewhat less familiar, but not any less spectacular class was the Inter Proto series.

With specially constructed light weight carbon monocoque bodies and powered by 4L V6 turbocharged engines restricted to 340 HP these machines were lightning fast around corners.

Toyota's collaboration with Subaru on many projects is clearly seen here as the WRC spec WRX Sti tackled the rough terrain of the off-road course.

While Subaru's GT300 car was busy showing off its engine and having it revved much to the pleasure of the crowd.

Seeing it go around the track unveiled the true potential of this monster.

Toyota's Super GT car of choice is the new RCF.  With it being launched in Japan quite recently I could not spot any production types at the event.  Perhaps we'll see some at Tokyo Auto Salon.

What we will definitely see at Tokyo Auto Salon is the army of 86's and BRZ's.  These compact inexpensive sports cars are the life line of many tuning shops throughout Japan, and needless to say they were present at the event in numbers.

As I stated before, there is no limit in what can be done to these compact sports cars.

Most of the machines on display were taking part in the time trials occurring during the event.  This alone speaks of the fact how Toyota embraces the after market for the 86. 

The striking pink 86 built by PRO STAFF R MAGIC has plenty of work done under the hood.  

With improved airflow through upgraded intake and exhaust as well as remapped ECU the 202HP machine was capable of lapping Tsukuba at 1:05. 

It was all serious business at Neoplex booth.  Well known among time attack participants Neoplex are those guys who value attention to detail over everything else.

With their own crank pulleys that weight just over 500g, almost 4 times lighter than the factory ones, they managed to significantly improve engine response and efficiency without doing anything else. 

Now for a completely different school of thought... Not everyone might appreciate the scissor doors and chrome wheels, but those large Brembo brakes do need additional room, so stock 17's are not going to cut it.

Those Brembo's are also needed as there is serious stuff going under the hood.  The FA20 has been treated with Greddy intake and a supercharger that should make the little sportscast go like a bat out of hell.

Overall, it was a great turnout from the 86 owners and tuners.  Considering that I missed this year's 86 Style, it was nice to see these awesome cars on display,

...as well as thrown around on the track.

86 and BRZ weren't the only cars shown off, but examples like this Lexus IS350 were few and scarce. It almost seemed like Toyota doesn't want enthusiasts to have interest in anything other than the 86, which is quite different from the philosophy of Nissan, which I will talk about in next update when I cover this year's Nismo Festival.

Until then, please don't forget to check out the bonus images,

and as always, thank you for sharing, commenting and following!

Bonus Images















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