Toyota’s pure sports car is getting a lot of much-deserved traction

THE ONGOING pandemic has clearly not held Toyota back in its pursuit to seed and support motorsport enthusiasm among drivers. By now, you would have already heard of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific’s very first virtual motorsport racing championship in Asia, the GR Supra GT Cup Asia 2020, which engages participants from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, and, of course, the Philippines. Virtual racing has indeed become the next best thing for motorsports in this time of social distancing, and what better vehicle is there to enjoy e-driving than Toyota’s powerful, extremely well-balanced and agile sports car, the GR Supra?

The GR Supra GT Cup Asia 2020 had participants e-racing through one of the world’s most demanding circuits: the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife track in Germany. The track is known to be so merciless — riddled with steep inclines and gradients, constantly changing road surfaces, treacherous crests, and more — that Formula One world champion Sir John Young “Jackie” Stewart dubbed it “The Green Hell.”

Emerging as finalists from the multi-stage online race series were drivers from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. In the last race, Taj Aiman from Malaysia crossed the finish line first, with Sirigaya from Thailand coming in second, and Aleef from Singapore finishing in third. However, when the season’s overall points were computed, Aleef emerged three points ahead of Taj Aiman (thanks to Aleef having won the first two races), deeming Aleef the overall race champion.

As the season champion, Aleef won a cash prize of US$6,000 plus a seat in the global finals of the GR Supra GT Cup 2020 which will be held sometime in December. Meanwhile, for ranking second place, Taj Aiman was awarded US$3,000 and Sirigaya, who came in third, won US$1,500. Of course, all three winners also got their prestigious trophies.

One of the key pillars of Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) is now e-motorsports, and Toyota has made the e-races easily accessible via playing Gran Turismo Sport on the PlayStation 4 gaming platform. The concept was so well received that it gained about 2.7 million views in the national rounds. And delightfully, all data and learnings from TGR’s activities are used for Toyota’s development of even better vehicles.

Prior to the race in the Nürburgring, there were two previous races held first at Fuji Speedway — Toyota’s home ground — and then at the night “Shuto” expressway of Tokyo.

Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Vice-President David Nordstrom shared, “The GR Supra GT Cup Asia is a feat made possible by the power of passion, cars and limitless possibilities, and we were happy to share the thrill of the regional final with e-motorsport fans and racing enthusiasts. The regional finalists were all incredible players and they made us feel the exhilaration of racing the iconic GR Supra on some of the most amazing racetracks around the world. Congratulations again to all the winners, and I wish Aleef all the best in the ‘GR Supra GT Cup 2020’ global final.”

“Indeed, the Toyota Supra is an exhilarating car to drive. I tried it for myself, driving through our regular highways and city roads, enjoying its strong pulling power and exceptional handling. To my surprise, the rear boot was even more spacious than I thought! And it’s super exciting for car enthusiasts to own, because this is the first-ever Toyota Supra to be retailed in the Philippines!”

The Toyota GR Supra is an authentic sports car in the way it looks and the way it performs. It is smaller, a lot lighter, more powerful, and has a much wider range than its predecessors with four additional gears. It is delightfully well-balanced and definitely one aspirational car for many.