Over the years, Toyota has taken part in various different kinds of motorsports including the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), FIA Formula One World Championship (F1), and the 24hr Nürburgring endurance race. The participation of such events has always been through various separate entities such as “Toyota Racing”, “Lexus Racing” and “GAZOO Racing”.
Of the separate entities, “GAZOO Racing” in particular first took part in the 24hr Nürburgring endurance race in 2007 with two used Altezzas. Supported internally through various departments within Toyota, with the belief that “the roads build the people, and the people build the cars”. Toyota managed to successfully build teams of people through racing, enabling them to then build ever-better cars.
Toyota’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, said in 1952: “Car racing is more than just entertainment. It is vital to the development of the Japanese passenger vehicle industry. Just as athletes test their capabilities by competing with all their strength in the Olympics, automakers use racing as an opportunity to push a vehicle’s performance to the limits and compete for supremacy, enabling them to discover new ways of advancing automotive technology.”
Through the wise words of Toyota’s founder and having developed hybrid racing technologies since 2006, the TS030 HYBRID made its debut in the 2012 WEC, securing a very successful season with three victories and two pole positions in just six races. Using the ingenious technology of harvesting energy through braking power to apply into acceleration, Toyota has applied this technology to the Prius production models, thus providing an eco-friendly alternative and improving the lives of everyone.
In April 2015, Toyota returned to the basis and unified all of the separate racing entities into “TOYOTA GAZOO Racing”, formalizing Toyota’s commitment to producing ever-better cars.