The second generation of the Toyota 86, called the GR86 to reflect the involvement of Toyota Gazoo Racing, will be the star of a single-make series set to début in 2023. Called the GR Cup, the new championship will be sanctioned by SRO America with fourteen races planned across seven tracks.
The motorsport version of the GR86 will be created by converting a production GR86, fitting the vehicle with the necessary safety equipment and features like a custom body from Stratasys, rear wing made of carbon fibre, a Bosch engine management system, and exhaust from Borla. The car uses a six-speed sequential transmission courtesy of SADEV while its fuel cell can hold twenty-two gallons. Development of the car takes place at Toyota Racing Development‘s facility in Mooresville, North Carolina.
While the GR Cup is specifically focused in America, Toyota Gazoo Racing operates an Australian counterpart called the TGRA 86 Series that supports the Supercars Championship. Formed in 2016, the 86 Series has proven to be popular on the Supercars weekend slate while Toyota intends to provide factory support through 2026. Toyota will also launch a “feeder” level for younger drivers in 2023, with standouts being invited to race in the main 86 Series.
“This new racing series will help reinforce and validate the track inspired engineering bred into every Toyota GR vehicle,” reads a statement from Toyota released Wednesday.
“GR Cup will also offer participants one million dollars in total purse and prizes thanks to several great partners that have teamed with Toyota Gazoo Racing North America in this unique series. While the racing is the most exciting feature, each event will also offer a great environment for comradery among like-minded car enthusiasts. From first class, exclusive hospitality to partner sponsored displays, it’s sure to be a celebration of everything car and racing enthusiasts love, car culture and motorsports.”
SRO America oversees a multitude of touring car championships in the United States including the GT World Challenge Americas, GT4 Americas, and GT America, and TC America.
“These race efforts are not simply designed to build fans for Toyota vehicles and the GR Brand, but to allow learnings on the track to make ever better vehicles for the road by Toyota engineers,” continued Toyota’s statement. “And with these efforts, a new series within Toyota Gazoo Racing North America will be born.”