Off Road

Canguro Racing returns to Baja 1000 with Land Cruiser, JAOS alliance

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Credit: Canguro Racing

Lexus is Toyota‘s luxury vehicle division, meaning teams fielding either manufacturer might find it wise to join forces when possible. With the SCORE International Baja 1000 two months away, Team JAOS has formed a partnership with Canguro Racing.

JAOS is a Japanese team that primarily competes in the Asia Cross Country Rally but shifted towards American competition in 2021 with Tomonori Noto as driver. Noto previously ran the Baja 1000 in 2015 in Class 7 alongside JAOS racer Ikuo Hanawa but retired.

The outfit will contest the 2022 Baja 1000 with Noto driving a new Lexus LX600; the Lexus LX line previously enjoyed success with Joe Bacal, whose LX570 won the Stock Full class in 2010, 2012, and 2013. JAOS intends to operate on a three-year plan starting with the 2022 1000, where they will gauge their performance before upping their goal to finishing the race in 2023, then going for the win in 2024.

The partnership came about between the two teams with assistance from Sadayoshi Koyari, the lead engineer of the Land Cruiser, and Daijiro Akahoshi, president of JAOS who has served as Noto’s co-driver in AXCR.

“One of the reasons we decided to again race the SCORE International Baja 1000 this fall was the announcement from JAOS Corporation in the spring that they would be racing an LX600 in the Stock Full class,” read a statement from the team. “We love the idea of racing old against new head to head.

“After an introduction between Daijiro Akahoshi, Tomonori Noto, and us by Sadayoshi Koyari (the Cruiser/LX community is indeed a tight knit one) we have formed a partnership with JAOS to provide race support for the 1000.

“Working with them has been a great experience so far and we’re really looking forward to November when we not only get to compete against an all new LX600 with our well used LC 200/LX570 but also help them achieve their Baja 1000 goals. We’re Land Cruiser people first and foremost. We feel honored to share our experience with a group of enthusiasts from Japan.”

Run by six friends and Land Cruiser enthusiasts albeit without Toyota factory support, Canguro Racing has fielded the SUV for over a decade, last running the 1000 in 2020 with Marc Van Tassell as Driver of Record. The team won the Stock Full category as the lone finisher of two entries and ninety-fifth overall.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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