Toyota Australia has put an end to long-running media speculation by announcing it will enter the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series with the TRD Aurion, making it the first manufacturer to directly support one of Australia's most exciting racing categories.
Before you get too excited though, this doesn?t mean we?ll be seeing TRD Aurion?s take to the race track, the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series uses scaled down body shells and 1.2-litre, twin-cam, four-valve Yamaha engines that produce 91kW at 11,500rpm.
The body shells are described rather accurately by the director of Aussie Cars Racing as being a caricature of the real vehicle.
"The TRD Aurion's body shell is really more of a caricature than a scaled-down version of the real car. We are in the final stages of producing the initial test moulds now so the finished product will be on the track later this year," said Aussie Racing Cars director Phil Ward
Toyota intends to have at least four of the mini racers competing in the latter half of the 2008 season. The series is a support category for the V8 Supercar Championship and races at some of Australia's biggest events, including the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and at Indy on the Gold Coast.
"Toyota's involvement is a glowing endorsement of the credibility of the category. It gives the series another level of interest and it will be wonderful having a major manufacturer involved,? said Phil Ward
Every car in the field runs a spec mechanical package and chassis that is fitted with moulded body shells representing the relevant make and model of the car. They weigh 450kg and have a top speed of 230km/h and accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
Toyota motorsport manager Todd Connolly said he was pleased Toyota could assist another feeder category in Australian motorsport.
"Toyota is really pleased to join such a fun, popular and exciting series as Aussie Racing Cars. It is a great grass-roots category for young drivers to showcase their talent and for experienced campaigners to race competitively at a minimal cost. Phil Ward must be congratulated on how well the series has developed since its launch in 2001," said Connolly.
Current series star Adam Gowans will step into one of the TRD Aurion Aussie Racing Cars, while another will feature a series of guest drivers, including rally champions Simon Evans and Neal Bates.
Although the series has been based around Ford and Holden-derived cars, Ward said he does not see the category as a red versus blue battle and hopes Toyota's involvement will encourage other manufacturers to get involved.
Visit www.aussieracingcars.com.au for more information on the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series.