TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Outlines 2021 Motorsports Activities

2021.02.12 (Fri)

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) focuses on motorsports and engages in activities to offer ever-better cars to our customers, including the development, production and establishment of sales projects for products created from the racing environment.

The year 2020 was difficult for TGR as numerous motorsports events were postponed or cancelled. Despite these conditions, thanks to the support of our fans, we won the teams’ and the drivers’ titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and our third consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), TGR won the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships, while in the Japanese Super Formula Championship, the teams’ title was achieved. Our quest never ends. In 2021, we will continue to push forward with all of our supporters through these difficult times, delivering the joy and excitement of driving, the energy and sensation of motorsports to a wider audience and engaging in various activities within and outside of Japan.

In addition to the WEC, WRC, Japan Rally Championship, SUPER GT and Japanese Super Formula Championship that have already been announced, we will also provide new information related to customer motorsports, driver development and ROOKIE Racing.

In the field of customer motorsports, we will offer sales and support for GR Supra GT4 as well as continuing support for the LEXUS RC F GT3 so that more customers can enjoy opportunities to enjoy racing. In order to develop Japanese drivers who are capable of competing both within and outside of Japan, we will continue to identify and support young drivers. We will also promote activities to open a wider window for everyone. Following on from 2020, this year ROOKIE Racing will participate in the Super Taikyu series with GR models. It will also start participation in SUPER GT and the Japanese Super Formula Championship. Keeping our focus on making ever-better cars through motorsports, we will offer feedback to car development based on issues pointed out by privateer teams. Taking into consideration the effects of the global spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel our participation in the Nürburgring 24 Hours scheduled for June this year.

Outline of Toyota's 2021 Motorsports Activities

1) Customer Motorsports

a) GR Supra GT4
  • The GR Supra GT4 is a dedicated racecar that was developed based on the GR Supra production vehicle.
  • Sales started in Europe in March 2020. Starting in August, sales regions were expanded to North America and, from October, to Japan and Asia. Total cumulative sales have currently exceeded 20 vehicles. In 2020, a total of five GR Supra GT4 vehicles operated by three teams in Europe participated in various GT4 category races.
  • In 2021, two new vehicles are added so far. Therefore, in addition to at least seven GR Supra GT4 units participating in races in Europe, there are seven vehicles in Japan, and at least five vehicles in North America. These GR Supra GT4 cars will participate in various races as shown below.
2021 GR Supra GT4 participation (scheduled)
EuropeGT4 European Series, GT4 France, Nürburgring Endurance Series, DTM Trophy, British GT Championship, etc.
JapanSuper Taikyu Series, etc.
North AmericaIMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Pirelli GT4 America, etc.
b) Lexus RC F GT3
  • Through customer support for LEXUS RC F GT3, LEXUS GAZOO Racing is providing opportunities for its customers around the world to participate in GT3 races. It is also leveraging the technologies developed through race participation into enhancing its products by applying feedback to production vehicles.
Region Series Class Team Number
U.S.IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar ChampionshipGTDVasser Sullivan Racing2
JapanSUPER GTGT300K-tunes Racing
arto Ping An Team Thailand
Super Taikyu SeriesST-XApr1
AsiaThailand Super SeriesGT3Toyota Team Thailand1

2) Improving cars through motorsports

  • Previously, TGR has improved its cars by competing in demanding races in worldwide championships such as the WEC and WRC.
  • Since 2020, ROOKIE Racing has participated in Super Taikyu series with GR Supra and GR Yaris and cooperated with TGR for its ever-better car making through this participation.
  • With ROOKIE Racing, a diverse range of drivers participate in races, including professional drivers, gentleman drivers and manufacturer assessment drivers. Issues have been unearthed at each event, and this information has been used to make improvements. During the 2020 season, the GR Supra and GR Yaris both became series champions.
  • In 2021, ROOKIE Racing will again participate in Super Taikyu series under a new team name, and TGR will continue to work with them to create even more ever-better cars through motorsports.
Team Vehicle Driver
ORC ROOKIE RacingROOKIE RACING GR YarisVarious drivers including Morizo, Yasuhiro Ogura, Masahiro Sasaki, Takamitsu Matsui, Daisuke Toyoda, Takuto Iguchi, Naoya Gamo, and Kenta Yamashita will race.

3) Driver Development Initiatives in Japan

  • From 2020, programs for training Japanese drivers who are capable of competing in races and in rallies in Japan and overseas have been integrated within the TGR Driver Challenge Program (TGR-DC) to cultivate young racing and rally drivers.
a) TGR WRC Challenge Program
  • As already announced, Takamoto Katsuta will participate in all rounds in the WRC with the Yaris WRC.
Driver Co-driver
Takamoto Katsuta (Japan)Daniel Barritt (UK)


b) TGR WEC Challenge Program
  • In 2021, this program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenta Yamashita, who participated in the LMP2 class of last year’s WEC, will concentrate on domestic races.
c) TGR Driver Challenge Program (TGR-DC)
  • This program aims to cultivate racing and rally drivers who are capable of competing in top racing categories within and outside of Japan.
  • Talented people are identified and, according to their level of skill, programs for further improvement including the above TGR WRC/WEC challenge programs are developed.
  • In 2021, Ritomo Miyata will make the step up to become a Japanese Super Formula Championship driver, and Hibiki Taira will become a Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship driver.
[2021 TGR-DC Training Drivers]
Driver Race Category Team 2020 Results
Ritomo MiyataSUPER GT (GT500)TGR TEAM WedsSport BANDOH
  • SUPER GT GT500 (17th overall in series)
  • Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship
    (1st overall in series)
Japanese Super Formula ChampionshipVANTELIN TEAM TOM’S
Kazuto KotakaJapanese Super Formula Lights ChampionshipTOM'S
  • Japanese Super Formula Lights Championship
    (3rd overall in series)
Hibiki TairaJapanese Super Formula Lights ChampionshipTOM'S
  • Japanese FIA-F4 Championship
    (1st overall in series)

(All TGR-DC Training Drivers are Japanese)

[2021 Race Categories of drivers from TGR-DC]
Driver Race Category
Kazuki NakajimaFIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Kamui KobayashiFIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Hiroaki IshiuraSUPER GT (GT500)
Kazuya OshimaSUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Yuji KunimotoSUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Ryo HirakawaSUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Yuichi NakayamaSUPER GT (GT500)
Kenta YamashitaSUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship
Sho TsuboiSUPER GT (GT500)
Japanese Super Formula Championship

(All TGR-DC Training Drivers are Japanese)

d) TGR-DC Racing School
  • This school aims to identify and develop racing and rally drivers who are capable of competing in top categories in Japan and overseas. It also seeks to widen the base of motorsports drivers in a healthy manner by educating people to drive correctly.
  • The school will provide support for race participation in the next fiscal year and beyond to excellent drivers with high potential who attend the school.
  • The 2021 schedule for the TGR-DC Racing School and details will be announced once they are determined.
e) FIA F4 Japanese Championship
  • TGR will support young drivers who compete in the Japanese FIA-F4 Championship series, the entry class formula category.

4) Nürburgring 24 Hours

  • TGR has decided not to race in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, planned for June 3 - 6 this year.
  • The Nürburgring 24 Hours is the starting point for TGR’s activities aimed at ever-better car manufacturing. We had to cancel our participation last year due to the global spread of COVID-19 and had been engaged in preparations for participation in this year’s event. However, as the effects of the pandemic continue this year, we decided that participation would not be appropriate.
  • TGR never stops developing people and refining vehicles to make ever-better cars.

5) e-Motorsports

  • In 2020, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused continued difficulties for real-life motorsports. However, great progress was seen for e-Motorsports in 2020.
  • In 2020, TGR supported the FIA GT Championship while also holding the GR Supra GT Cup 2020, in which approximately 27,000 people participated globally. In December, the final round was also held online, and Takuma Miyazono from Japan was awarded the championship.
  • In November 2020, the GR Yaris was made available. We offered the fun of GR Four driving, with approximately 56,000 players participating globally in the GR Yaris Time Trial.
  • In 2021, continuing as an official partner of the FIA GT Championship, there are plans to hold an original GR one-make race for e-Motorsports players worldwide. The details will be announced in mid-March.
<The following items have already been announced>

6) FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)

  • 2021 marks the fifth season since our comeback in 2017. With our new team principal, Jari-Matti Latvala, TGR will aim to simultaneously win three titles (Manufacturer, Driver, Co-driver).
  • TGR will race with the Yaris WRC, which was developed mainly in Finland. The engine is the 1.6-liter direct injection turbo engine GI4A, which was developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
Team nameTOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT (World Rally Team: WRT)
Team founderAkio Toyoda
Team principalJari-Matti Latvala (Finland)
VehicleYaris WRC (length: 4,085 mm; width: 1,875 mm)
EngineGI4A (1.6-liter direct-injection turbo with an output of over 380 horsepower)
No. Driver / Co-driver
1DriverSébastien Ogier (France)
Co-driverJulien Ingrassia (France)
33DriverElfyn Evans (UK)
Co-driverScott Martin (UK)
69DriverKalle Rovanperä (Finland)
Co-driverJonne Halttunen (Finland)


7) FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)

  • From 2021, TGR will participate in the Hypercar Category (LMH class), which has newly started as the top class of the WEC.
  • TGR will enter the GR010 HYBRID, which was developed to be fitted with RACING HYBRID technology that was advanced during WEC competition.
  • Two vehicles will compete in the race with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH in Cologne, Germany as the base.
  • Six races will be held in the 2021 season: the first race, the 8 Hours of Portimão, will be held in April, followed by the third race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in June; the fifth race, the 6 Hours of Fuji, in September; and then the final race, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, in November.
Team nameTOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Team founderAkio Toyoda
Team principalHisatake Murata
VehicleGR010 HYBRID (length: 4,900 mm; width: 2,000 mm; weight: 1,040 kg)
Engine3.5-liter V6 turbo engine
Team Vehicle No. Driver
TOYOTA GAZOO RacingGR010 HYBRID7Mike Conway (UK)
Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)
José María López (Argentina)
8Sébastien Buemi (Switzerland)
Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
Brendon Hartley (New Zealand)


8) Dakar Rally

  • TGR entered four cutting-edge Hilux cars to rally raid-specifications in the Dakar Rally, which was held in Saudi Arabi in January 2021.
Dakar Rally 2021 TGR Team setup and final overall position
Team Number Driver / Co-driver Overall Position
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing301DriverNasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar)2nd
Co-driverMatthieu Baumel (France)
304DriverGiniel de Villiers (South Africa)8th
Co-driverAlex Haro (Spain)
330DriverShameer Variawa (South Africa)21st
Co-driverDennis Murphy (South Africa)
332DriverHenk Lategan (South Africa)Retired
Co-driverBrett Cummings (South Africa)


  • TGR supports Team Landcruiser/Toyota Auto Body (TLC), the rally team of Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd., which participates in rallies with Toyota Landcruiser 200 vehicles. In 2021, TLC achieved its eighth consecutive victory in the production car category.
  • HINO TEAM SUGAWARA of Hino Motors, Ltd. achieved its 12th consecutive victory in the under 10-liter class truck category.
Dakar Rally 2021 TLC Team setup and final overall position
Team Number Driver / Co-driver Position in
Production Vehicle Division*1
Position in
Diesel Class*2
Overall Position
Team Land Cruiser
Toyota Auto Body
340DriverAkira Miura (Japan)*31st1st38th
Co-driverLaurent Lichtleuchter (France)
345DriverRonald Basso (France)2nd2nd40th
Co-driverJean-Michel Polato (France)
  1. *1 Includes gasoline and diesel classes
  2. *2 TLC competed in the diesel class of the production vehicle division
  3. *3 Toyota Auto Body Employee
Dakar Rally 2021 HINO TEAM SUGAWARA team setup and final overall position
Team Number Driver / Co-driver Truck category
(less than 10 liters displacement class)
HINO Team Sugawara508DriverTeruhito Sugawara (Japan)1st
Co-driverHirokazu Somemiya (Japan)
Co-driverYuji Mochizuki (Japan)


a) GT500 Class
  • TGR will also participate with the GR Supra GT500 in 2021.
  • We will support six teams (six vehicles) through TOYOTA CUSTOMIZING & DEVELOPMENT Co., Ltd., (TCD).
Class Team Vehicle No. Driver Tires
Kenta Yamashita (Japan)
TGR TEAM WedsSport BANDOHWedsSport ADVAN GR Supra19Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)YH
Ritomo Miyata (Japan)
TGR TEAM au TOM'Sau TOM’S GR Supra36Yuhi Sekiguchi (Japan)BS
Sho Tsuboi (Japan)
TGR TEAM KeePer TOM'SKeePer TOM'S GR Supra37Ryo Hirakawa (Japan)BS
Sacha Fenestraz (France)
Hiroaki Ishiura (Japan)
TGR TEAM SARDDENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra39Heikki Kovalainen (Finland)BS
Yuichi Nakayama (Japan)

Tire Brand: BS: Bridgestone, YH: Yokohama

b) GT300 Class
  • In the GT300 class, two Prius PHEV, three GR Supra, and two Lexus RC F GT3 models will race.
Class Team Vehicle No. Driver Tires
GT 300aprTOYOTA GR SPORT PRIUS PHV apr GT30Hiroaki Nagai (Japan)YH
Manabu Orido (Japan)
31Koki Saga (Japan)BS
Yuki Nakayama (Japan)
Saitama Toyopet Green BraveSaitama Toyopet GB GR Supra GT52Hiroki Yoshida (Japan)BS
Kohta Kawaai (Japan)
arto Ping An Team Thailandarto RC F GT335To be confirmedYH
To be confirmed
LM corsaSYNTIUM LMcorsa GR Supra GT60Hiroki Yoshimoto (Japan)DL
Shunsuke Kohno (Japan)
K-tunes RacingK-tunes RC F GT396Morio Nitta (Japan)DL
Sena Sakaguchi (Japan)
Max RacingTakanoko-no-yu GR Supra GT244Atsushi Miyake (Japan)YH
Yuui Tsutsumi (Japan)

Tire Brand: BS: Bridgestone, YH: Yokohama, DL: Dunlop

10) Japanese Super Formula Championship

  • TRD (Toyota Racing Development) will supply 11 vehicles from six teams with two-liter four-cylinder direct injection gasoline turbo engines (TRD 01F).
  • All vehicles will be equipped with tires made by Yokohama.
Team No. Driver
KONDO RACING3Kenta Yamashita (Japan)
4Sacha Fenestraz (France)
KCMG7Kamui Kobayashi (Japan)
18Yuji Kunimoto (Japan)
ROOKIE Racing14Kazuya Oshima (Japan)
TEAM IMPUL19Yuhi Sekiguchi (Japan)
20Ryo Hirakawa (Japan)
VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S36Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
37Ritomo Miyata (Japan)
P.MU/CERUMO INGING38Sho Tsuboi (Japan)
39Sena Sakaguchi (Japan)

11) Japanese Rally Championship

  • In 2021, TGR will participate in the top category JN1 class with two GR Yaris vehicles. We will aim for a top ranking, welcoming new driver Norihiko Katsuta.
  • Employees will participate as engineers and mechanics so that we can cultivate human resources while offering ever-better car manufacturing.
Team nameTOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Vehicle / ClassGR YARIS GR4 Rally / JN1 class
Main specificationsEngine1.6-liter three-cylinder inter cooler turbo
Drive systemSports 4WD system, “GR-FOUR”
Driver / Co-driverNorihiko Katsuta / Yusuke Kimura
Tomoyuki Shinkai / Yuichi Ando
Team principalSatoshi Toyooka (Toyota Motor Corporation, Advanced Technical Skills Institute Div.)
Chief mechanicMasashi Miyamoto (Toyota Motor Corporation, Advanced Technical Skills Institute Div.)
EngineerTakashi Doi (Toyota Motor Corporation GR Project Operation Div.)

12) Japan-Based Participatory Motorsport Events

In the hope of expanding the enjoyment of driving, TGR will hold a full range of driving activities at venues around Japan in collaboration with the various regions and circuits. TGR will increase its support for people who would like to compete in participatory motorsports events such as races and rallies, while prioritizing the safety and health of participants.

a) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing 86/BRZ Race (organized by the Toyota Cars Race Association)

The 86/BRZ Race that was started in 2013 is a one-make race in which only TOYOTA 86 “86 Racing” and SUBARU BRZ “RA Racing” compete. In 2015, the race was divided into the “Professional Series” and “Clubman Series.” From the 2019 season, the “Clubman Series” was divided into an open class and expert class to make it easier for drivers to participate in accordance with their level of skill. Many top drivers who are currently competing in SUPER GT have also competed in the “Professional Series,” making for a very lively race atmosphere. Professionally-certified drivers cannot participate in the “Clubman Series”; only amateur drivers and gentleman drivers are invited to compete. There are plans to hold the 2021 series at seven major circuits throughout Japan in a total of eight rounds.

b) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Yaris Cup (organized by the Toyota Cars Race Association)

The TGR Yaris Cup will be started from this season as a new participatory one-make race. It continues on from the 21-year history of the TGR Netz Cup Vitz Race, the first JAF-certified number-plated car one-make race, which started in 2000. The competing car will be the Yaris Cup Car, which is based on the new Yaris.
The support system will be enhanced further so that first-time participants in motorsports can also enjoy competing with peace of mind. In the 2021 season, the competition will be divided into two series (East Japan and West Japan) and held on six major circuits.

c) TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge (organized by the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Office)

The TGR Rally Challenge is held throughout Japan as a beginning stage for domestic rallies based on the concept of a participatory rally that anyone can easily participate in. Anyone with a domestic B license (issued by the Japan Automobile Federation; JAF) can enter the rally. A key feature is the fact that in addition to sportscars like the 86 and GR Yaris, drivers can also compete in automatic cars such as the Yaris, Vitz or Aqua.
Programs such as domestic B license classes and rally workshops are also available for individuals who are interested in rallies or who will be competing for the first time. We hope to cooperate with members of local communities where each rally will be held to keep enlivening rally challenges going forward so that they become like local festivals.