Toyota Gazoo Racing competed in the 45th of The 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race, held at Germany’s Nürburgring from Thursday May 25th through Sunday May 28th, 2017. The Lexus RC (car No. 170, driven by Takuto Iguchi, Takamitsu Matsui, Naoya Gamo, and Hisashi Yabuki*1) successfully completed the race, finishing 2nd in the SP3T*2 class and 25th overall.
Having completed Qualifying Session 1 on Thursday May 25th, and Qualifying Session 2 on Friday May 26th, the Lexus RC recorded a time of 9’02.157, ultimately qualifying for the main race in 52th position overall. The main race started at 15:30 local time on Saturday May 27th, with driver Iguchi at the wheel of the Lexus RC among a total race field of 157 cars. Alternating in the order of Matsui, Gamo, and Yabuki, the drivers subsequently continued to rack up trouble-free laps. About 6 hours into the race, the RC’s body was damaged due to contact with another car, but speedy pit work rapidly got it back on track. Later on as the sun went down and the night session began, the RC continued without any major issues and even engaged in top level competition with SP3T class rivals Subaru and Audi. With the car running smoothly and the Toyota mechanics and engineers each steadfastly playing their part, the team were finally greeted by the sunrise on Sunday 28th after about 14 hours. The driver for the final stint was Matsui. When the checkered flag was finally waved at 15:30 on Sunday May 28th, the Lexus RC took 2nd place in the SP3T class and finished 25th overall. Following last year’s disappointing retirement, the Lexus RC had successfully redeemed itself. Toyota Gazoo Racing THAILAND (TOYOTA MOTOR THAILAND) also entered two Corolla Altis vehicles. Car No.124 driven by experienced TGR driver Takayuki Kinoshita finished 9th in the SP3T class (104th overall), while car No.123 finished 8th in class (103th overall).This year marks the eleventh consecutive year since Toyota Gazoo Racing began competing in 2007, and the valuable experience gained by Toyota’s mechanics, engineers, and test drivers through these racing activities is subsequently fed back into the development of all kinds of vehicles. We have utilized this process with past entries such as the Lexus LFA, the Toyota 86, and Toyota’s C-HR to enhance their performance and marketability as production cars. Thus, competing in The 24 Hours of Nürburgring is the starting point for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s activities aimed at « developing our people and cars ». Shigeki Tomoyama: President, GAZOO Racing Company More than the finishing position, I am delighted that we successfully completed the whole 24 hour race. This is thanks to the individual efforts of our drivers, mechanics, engineers and support staff who were all united with a single purpose. I am also sincerely grateful for the ongoing support of our suppliers, partner companies, and our many fans. Furthermore, we have gained much inspiration and learned a great deal from competing alongside the Subaru team over the years. Despite Subaru’s unfortunate results this time, I would like to express my utmost gratitude and respect for them. Our efforts to make ever-better cars and develop our people to achieve this are never-ending. As part of these efforts, we hope to continue to take on the challenge of the Nürburgring in the future.
Press release Toyota Gazoo Racing, picture Jean-Baptiste Lassaux/Sport-Auto.ch]]>