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Brand New Toyota Aurion

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Steane Klose | Oct 21, 2008

Personally, I've never taken much notice of the Aussie Racing Cars series. The cars just don't look serious enough to excite, but as the guys in the office often tell me, "What would you know Klosey?"

Toyota is taking it seriously, and has just announced that it will race debut the first of four TRD Aurion Aussie Racing Cars in next weekend's Nikon Indy 300 race on the streets of Surfer's Paradise.

The Aussie Racing Cars compete nationally at V8 Supercar events, as well as the Indy 300 and the Australian Grand Prix, and Toyota is the first manufacturer to directly support entries in the series.

Toyota Australia motorsport manager Todd Connolly said Aussie Racing Cars are an exciting category that offer thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing.

"We're really pleased to join such a competitive, popular and entertaining series," he said.

"Toyota sees it as an ideal grass-roots category for young drivers to learn and make their way up the ladder in motor sport."

Weighing just 450kg, the Aussie Racing Cars share identical mechanical specifications to ensure close fought races that put the emphasis on driver skill.

The TRD Aurion Aussie Racing Cars, share absolutely nothing in common with the car that they caricature. Their moulded body sits atop a space-frame chassis and power is courtesy of a 1.2-litre Yamaha engine that delivers 91kW at 11.500rpm to the rear wheels.

However, the lack of any real relationship between the real TRD Aurion and its Aussie Racing Cars counterpart, hasn't stopped Toyota's Todd Connolly from identifying a few synergies.

"Yamaha has been a Toyota technical partner for the last four decades and developed the latest Corolla dual-VVT-i-equipped engine," he said.

"CATIA, who sponsor our Formula One team and Australian rally team, provided the software to design the TRD Aurion look-alike body for the four new cars."

The first TRD Aurion Aussie Racing Car to hit the circuit has been nominated as a "guest" car that will feature different motor sport personalities at each event. It is finished in the same livery as TRD's 2008 Targa Tasmania class-winning TRD Aurion.

Race commentator and V8 race driver Neil Crompton will debut this car at Surfer's Paradise. For this event, Toyota has chosen to support CanTeen's October 31 National Bandanna Day for young people living with cancer, and the roof of the racer will be painted to look like a bandanna.

It is hoped that the car's appearance at the Nikon Indy 300 event would help raise awareness of CanTeen's largest annual fund-raising day, when it aims to sell one million bandannas.

Toyota will even be providing a hospitality area at the circuit for CanTeen families from South-East Queensland.

The car might look kooky, but it's hard to fault Toyota's decision to support CanTeen.

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