Due to COVID-19, Europe’s most challenging endurance race—the Nürburgring 24 Hours, which is usually held in May—has been postponed to September. One team looking forward to the 48th event was Toyota Gazoo Racing, who’s been competing at the ’Ring since 2007. However, after 13 consecutive years at full throttle and multiple cars developed along the way—headlined by the Lexus LFA—Toyota Gazoo Racing has to skip this round to focus on the 2021 race instead:
“Toyota mechanics and engineers had intended to participate in this year’s edition of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with a Lexus LC race car they created themselves and were proceeding with the necessary preparations. However, the global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in travel restrictions and the TGR team did not have enough opportunities to conduct driving tests in the Nürburgring on track, and this has had a substantial impact on the development of the race car. This year, the team was planning to run a new engine and peripheral technologies in the Lexus LC. In the present circumstances, however, and given how demanding the 24 Hours of Nürburgring is for race cars, it would have proven more difficult for the team and the race car to complete the 24 hours race in a safe manner.”
Toyota was all set to test its new twin-turbo V-8 at the Nürburgring, an engine which brings the promise of a hotter Lexus LC to the table, perhaps even with an F badge.
Now, as American team SCG prepares its new 004C race car for September, Toyota Gazoo Racing is planning for the 2021 event already, with avid racer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda adding the following:
“The other day, a friend who lives in Nürburg sent me a photograph of the “Nürburg cherry blossoms”—beautiful flowers that bloomed again this year. For the past 13 years, every year, the team and I have prayed for safety and pledged to make ever-better cars in front of those cherry blossoms before the race. We are unable to do so this year, and my disappointment is immense.
“Even in these adverse circumstances, and although I am far away in Japan, while looking at the photograph I once again pledged to continue making ever-better cars.
“We have chosen not to participate in this year’s race. However, together with all our mechanics, engineers, professional drivers, suppliers, sponsors, and partners, we will continue to take on the challenges of making ever-better cars. It is my hope that all our fans continue to watch over our activities and continue lending their tremendous support.”
Cherry blossoms resonate deeply within Japanese culture, with the centuries-old tradition of hanami calling people to flower-viewing parties, where they can reflect on the circle of life and nature’s ephemeral beauty.
In the hopes of better weather, the 2021 Nürburgring 24 is set to be held in June. Toyota Gazoo Racing says this additional time will allow them to prepare an even stronger team and car for that race, so they can fulfill the expectations of their fans. If anybody is committed, it’s Toyota:
Last May, Akio Toyoda raced the 24 Hours under a fake name in a GR Supra …