Lexus and Gazoo Racing compete at Nurburgring 24h race
Playing a key role in helping to finalise the development of the LFA before it enters production in December, the gruelling 24h race offers Lexus and Gazoo Racing the unique opportunity to not only foster the peerless quality, durability and reliability by pushing cutting-edge technology to the extremes of mechanical endurance but also to hone the technical skills of the personnel involved in the development of future Lexus and Toyota production vehicles.
Furthermore, by participating in the 24 Hours Endurance Race Lexus and Toyota aim to showcase their dedication through Gazoo Racing to produce more emotional cars and becoming more attractive and desirable to a wider range of customers.
This year’s race marks the third consecutive entry of the Lexus LFA and, significantly, the first participation of the car in standard production guise.
Competing in the SP8 (‘Near production’) class, the race version of the LFA does not differ substantially from the road car, particularly with regard to construction, engine and transmission. Mandatory safety equipment has been installed and other modifications such as a refined aero package including a fixed rear wing and a larger fuel tank are made to reflect the format of the 24h race and the Nurburgring circuit.
Led by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)’s master test driver Hiromu Naruse, the Gazoo Racing team will make its fourth appearance at the Nurburging 24h race. It is a team comprised of engineers and technicians from TMC, and, whilst they’ve regularly come together over recent months to support the LFA in the build-up to the 24h race, their ‘day-jobs’ are within the TMC engineering community. This kind of virtual organisation ensures that the collective learning is transmitted directly back into the core of the engineering activity.
The driver line-up includes four Japanese and three German pilots with outstanding endurance and GT racing credentials, including three champions from the Japanese Super GT series.
As part of the preparation of the cars and the drivers, Gazoo Racing entered the first three VLN races of 2010. Consistently finishing in leading positions in its SP8 class, the LFA has also demonstrated its competitiveness against track-prepared specialist racing cars, with a best finish of 17th overall in VLN2.