So you’ve spent the big bucks restoring an original 1964 Holman-Moody Fairlane 500 to Grand National specs. Where better to take the ultimate American stock car but to conquer the ultimate German racetrack? The Nurburgring, of course. Turn up your speakers, go full screen – and note the speed!
Things have certainly changed for the better at the ‘ring. Back in the day, in the actual 60s, a track day at the Nurburgring meant all sorts of flying pedestrians, bad driving, rollovers. If you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen this original footage:
If you can’t join the quarter million fans camping out at the Nurburgring to watch the ADAC Zurich 24h Race in person, you can still watch it live via internet streaming here: http://www.24h-rennen.de/LIVE.94.0.html.
Sadly, there are only two S2000s this year, a single 370Z, and two GT-Rs. We’d like to see more of our favorite cars. Read the final list of entrants here.
Gazoo Racing brought a pair of Toyota 86s and an Lexus LFA to the event. Gazoo is staffed by Toyota employees with a passion for racing and an interest in gaining first-hand technical experience under the most demanding circumstances with the products they work on. Two more Toyota 86s were entered by Toyota Swiss Racing team.
Toyota Press Release follows:
GAZOO Racing, Toyota GT86 and Lexus LFA set to take on the Nürburgring 16/05/2012
- Four Toyota GT86 and one Lexus LFA set to take part in this year’s 24 Hours Nürburgring race from May 17 to May 20
- GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA and Toyota GT86 driven by employees to hone technical skills and craftsmanship
- Toyota Swiss Racing Team enters two Toyota GT86 vehicles race prepared by Toyota Motorsport GmbH
The 40th edition of the ADAC 24 Hours Nürburgring race this year will be the sixth time for Japan-based GAZOO Racing Team at the world-famous German circuit. Through the team’s various racing activities, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) aims to make ever-better cars by putting its products and people through the challenges such as the endurance race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, with each lap exceeding 25 kilometres.
GAZOO Racing personnel – including drivers and mechanics – are comprised of TMC employees with normal day-to-day jobs within the company in Japan. Putting the company’s employees through the paces on the racetrack gives engineers and technicians involved in vehicle development a chance to hone their skills and craftsmanship to continue to deliver products exceeding the customers’ expectations.
In addition to the GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA (car no. 83, SP8 class), the team also entered two race-prepared Toyota GT86 vehicles (car no. 165 and 166, SP3 class). Seasoned endurance racing drivers will join vehicle development employee drivers from TMC.
Prior to taking on the 24-hour endurance race, GAZOO Racing Team kicked off its 2012 race season at the shorter VLN2 and VLN3 races in April this year, with the Lexus LFA claiming class victories and both Toyota GT86 vehicles showing promising progress.
Speaking after the VLN3 race, GAZOO Racing driver Akira Iida commented: “The momentum of our team is very good. Our target for the 24 Hours Nürburgring race is to maintain a steady pace, which is how we chose to set up our cars. Nevertheless, we ran at good speeds and we are confident to be fully ready before the 24-hour race.”
Toyota Swiss Racing Team will join GAZOO Racing at the legendary Eifel circuit with two GT86 vehicles race prepared by Toyota Motorsport GmbH based in Germany. Both entries by the Swiss team (car no. 200 and 201) will compete in the V3 competition class for production vehicle models during the 24-hour endurance race.
In conjunction with the summertime European launch of the Toyota GT86, Toyota Switzerland aims to inspire a new generation of car enthusiasts around the world through its grassroots motorsports activities with the marque’s newest rear-wheel drive sports coupe.
About GAZOO Racing
GAZOO Racing is about communicating the pleasure, passion and dream of motoring to a new generation. Various programmes are prepared to showcase the appeal of motoring: 1) pride and pleasure of ownership: introducing a process in which cars are honed and refined through race participation and other tests; 2) joy and excitement of driving: communicating the joy through thrills and excitement of race circuits; 3) talking cars and sharing passion: providing a forum for car fans to gather and talk about their passion. For more information, visit http://gazoo.com/racing
7th best car, 2nd best “regular” production car. Thanks to AutoWeek for providing the video. See the complete story here: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110609/CARNEWS/110609854
Hard to believe there might be something to Cadillac for a Driving Enthusiast. We can’t see taking one of these to a high speed driving event – it’d be bigger than everything else present. But on the other hand it does have the benefit of testing at Nurburgring.
And we love those Recaro seats.
A friend reminded me of this spy pic of a Toyota MR-2 mule on the Nurburgring from 2004.
Whatever happened to this? Obviously this never became a production car: the MR-2 was cancelled along with the MR-S. It isn’t known what engine powered this mule – however given the considerably more aggressive suspension shown it’s clearly got a much more serious engine.
What a shame. However, the new Chairman of Toyota recently said that he will focus on exicting and fun-to-drive cars for Toyota. The FT-86 concept, aka the 2012 Celica, is his second such product after the new LF-A. Will a new-gen MR-2 be next?
The Subaru-esque mule circling the Nurburgring has been wildly misinterpreted. The usual elements on the web are calling this “one ugly Subaru”. They couldn’t be more wrong. Even a writer at Jalopnik fell for it (and should know better) along with a bunch people on various forum sites.
This, folks, is a “mule car”: nothing more than a hacked-together assemblage of various oddball and unrelated parts cut from various other Subarus and welded together. No relationship to the upcoming Subaru brother to the FT-86 other than length, width, wheelbase, H-point, and a couple of other points in between.The shape of the car has no exact relationship to the upcoming Subaru. The windshield, side windows, hood, and the rest (such as the taped-together rear spoiler) will never be seen in public again once a few more months pass. The only purpose of this mule is to test engineering samples and prototypes - engineering in this case being suspension and drivetrain.
Given these images, however, certain things can be inferred – and you can bet the competition is doing so (such as Nissan, for a rumored Silvia competitor). Such as the front/mid location of the engine. Given the amount of space behind the wheel wells, it’s clear that the engine is located well to the back. The weight balance and handling dynamics will be excellent.
So, fans of the future Toyota/Subaru car – RELAX. We have no idea what the upcoming “Subaru coupe” will be named, much less what it will look like (although one Japanese magazine has a pencil drawing that reflects nothing more than their own imagination).
What we do know is that it’s engineers are testing it on the most demanding road course on the planet. And that’s a very good thing that says it all about how serious they are.
The full open throttle says it all: the LF-A is “savage”!
And, interestingly, the white car is apparently a full production-dress LF-A. Note the differences from the flat-black prototype we’ve seen so many times before.
And remember, when in Nurburgring, hang out at the gas station. This is where you’ll be able to get up close and personal to all the good stuff. And it’s where test drivers like to show off their engines!
Wondering what happened to the two 370Zs at this years 24 hour endurance race at Nurburgring? It was a disaster all around – and you can watch it unfold thanks to these YouTube videos. Note the wheel carried away from where it ended up by the side of the road with the front suspension upright still attached. And then for some reason they disassemble it – to reuse the upright? The Zs themselves were far from stock, using the older 3.5 liter engines and third-party sequential gearboxes. So there’s not a lot we can learn from this for “civilian” track events.
Nissan of Europe wanted to use this event to kick off the launch of the 370Z in Europe… but it didn’t work out very well.
The German motorsport show GRIP has provided approx. 42 minutes of video coverage, including in-car video from the yellow 370Z. All in German, although there is some English in the background and the results are apparent enough. Lots of extra video shows what it’s like to spectate at this legendary event – consider this a must-attend event! Note the VW bug limo that seats about 20, the Hello Kitty guitar, and the drunken Pink Panthers!
Here’s the team running the 370Z at the 24 hours of the Nurburgring 2009: http://www.rjnmotorsport.com/ of Oxfordshire U.K.
The team formerly ran a 350Z. Because class rules limit the engine to 3.5 liters, the 370Z will be running an older 3.5 liter engine. You can see some more details of the car in the official team photo below, including aero mods front and rear, exhaust system, and air ducts in the rear side windows (probably rear brakes and very likely diff cooling).
Unfortunately, no further technical details are available on the team site.
However, AutoZeitung provides an interesting gallery: http://www.autozeitung.de/nissan-special/erster-test-des-nissan-370z-rennwagens. We’ve saved two of the images here for the sake of posterity.
It would be helpful if this team were to provide some more details so that 370Z fans can better prepare their own cars. Not alignment specs of their suspension setup – that would clearly be confidential, but details showing their resolution of the two main problems of the car that the rest of us face: engine oil and rear diff cooling. Most commercial diff coolers hang off the rear frame behind right lower control arm… that can’t be very durable and there has to be a better solution.