The Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team principal Jari-Matti Latvala will be entering the Fuij 24 Hours race in Japan on 4/5 June, becoming the first 24 hours race the Finn have contested in his career.
Latvala will be joining the six-driver line-up in the ORC Rookie squad to race a hydrogen powered Toyota Corolla H2 concept race car. Joining in the team alongside him will be Norihiko Katsuta, who is the father of Latvala’s TGR NG team’s driver Takamoto Katsuta, Super Formula driver Yuhi Sekiguchi, Hiroaki Ishiura, Yasuhiro Ogura, Masahiro Sasaki as well as Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda – who will be competing under the “Morizo” name.
“When I saw the live video of a Super Taikyu 24-hour race in Fuji during last year’s Rally Portugal, I thought that Toyota’s new approach to carbon neutrality was simply amazing.” Latvala said.
“I agree that sound is one of the best parts of motorsports and I heard from Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima that the feeling of driving the car is the same as a gasoline engine car. I was really interested in their feedback so I wanted to check it for myself, and I will have the chance to drive this car. Having experienced firsthand the activities toward carbon neutrality, I would like to share them with the world, especially in Europe.”
The Corolla made it’s debut last year and is fitted with a factory standard 1.6 litres engine while the fuel tanks have been replaced with hydrogen tanks.
The Fuij 24 Hours race is part of Super Taikyu Series which is an endurance series for GT cars, Touring cars as well as modified production vehicles from the Japanese car market such as the Corolla they will be entering with.