Toyota has released their latest sportscar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the GR Supra Racing Concept.
The car revives the name and spirit of one of Toyota’s most celebrated sportscar to date, whilst the team have full intentions of bringing the high-technology road car to the track.
Toyota sees the GR Supra as a sportscar to bring them to the front of the road car battle as a sophisticated machine with outstanding performance, but also have great plans for the car to dominate on track.
There are rumours of the GR Supra being entered into the FIA World Endurance Championship in the future, which could indicate an interesting direction Toyota Gazoo Racing may be looking to push their WEC racing program.
The heritage of the Supra has seen it evolve from the second generation of the Celica and journey through establishing itself as its own brand with the A40, A60, A70 and A80; cars that were celebrated by Toyota through the 1980s. The fourth generation of the Supra had a rich motorsport history. The car, produced in 1993, dominated the All-Japan GT Racing (a series now known as Super GT Series), winning the GT500 class four times. This is the success that Toyota hopes to replicate with the newest evolution of their beloved Supra.
With a front engine/rear-wheel drive configuration, the GR Supra uses advanced lightweight materials to keep the overall weight of the car low, therefore losing less through being heavy. The race team were the driving force behind the GR Supra being brought back into the production line, and claim that the mentality behind the car was that is it “fun to drive”.
GR Supra Racing Concept – challenges of performance
On the development of the car, company founder Kiichiro Toyoda stated, “Participation in motorsport provides the challenges of performance and durability that can directly help develop better cars, while at the same time generating interest and excitement among motoring fans.”
Toyota firmly believes that what is learnt on the race track or rally stage will influence not just the development of new racing-specific models, but the everyday cars they produce that are driven by millions.
This is a mentality that the race team has always strived for. The Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda and Toyota Gazoo Racing have always fought for success in every discipline of motor-racing that they have contended it: World Rally Championship, WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Toyota is determined to claim victory at the prestigious Le Mans endurance race. They have two chances in the 2018/19 WEC ‘Super Season’ as the season’s second and final rounds occur at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
They have come very close in the last two seasons but failed on both attempts to retain the lead for the entire 24-hours. The hardest loss was at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 Hybrid car failed on the line, from the lead, with one lap of the race left to complete.
The return of the GR Supra is an exciting concept, and here at TheCheckeredFlag, we cannot wait until it is set loose on its natural terrain: the racetrack. We look forward to Toyota’s announcements of which series’ the GR Supra Racing Concept will be competing in, in the future.