Toyota’s success in international rally raid competition is represented at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed in England this week by the South African-designed and built V8-powered Hilux double-cab that competed in this year’s Dakar Rally in South America.
The three Toyotas that took part in the world’s longest and toughest motor race finished a remarkable third, fifth and 10th at their first attempt in the hands of Stellenbosch’s Giniel de Villiers, Argentine Lucio Alvarez and Johannesburg’s Duncan Vos respectively.
De Villiers, a former Dakar winner, has also been invited to demonstrate the Hilux V8’s off-road capabilities on the renowned forest rally stage at this prestigious event. As far as could be established it is also the first time that a fully South African developed and built current racing vehicle will be displayed at the event.
Toyota will celebrate past glories and present-day success at the iconic Goodwood gathering with a superb array of race, rally and road cars. The event also coincides with the official UK launch of the new GT86 sports coupe, which can be seen in different guises – from standard road-going versions to race track and concept specials – on display and in action on the Goodwood hillclimb.
The Festival of Speed marks the first UK appearance of Toyota Racing’s TS030 Hybrid sports car, following its international competition debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this month. Staying with the endurance racing theme, Gazoo Racing will bring its Lexus LFA and Toyota 86, which were both class winners in this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours race.
Gazoo Racing is also revealing its Sports FR Concept, a “twin-charged” version of the GT86 that adds both a supercharger and turbocharger to the flat-four engine, boosting power to 196 kW. The hike in power is matched by revised suspension, bigger brakes and a full sports body kit.
Much smaller, but equally performance-focused, the latest GRMN supercharged iQ will be taking on the hill challenge. A true pocket-rocket, this 82 kW iQ was unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon at the beginning of the year and will be going on sale – in very small numbers – in Japan this summer.
Frank Wrathall will return to the festival with his 2012-specification Dynojet Racing Toyota Avensis touring car. The young driver, whose participation fits perfectly with this year’s festival theme of Young Guns – Born to Win, was voted Rookie of the Year by fans of the British Touring Car Championship and has already posted a podium finish this year in his second BTCC season.
Completing Toyota’s official line-up of cars running on the hillclimb are a further GT86, carrying a full complement of TRD styling and performance accessories, and a road-going version of the Lexus LFA supercar. Added excitement will be provided by Rod Millen, who will be back at the festival in his extraordinary Pike’s Peak Tacoma, a past record holder at the famed Colorado mountain climb.
The rally stage at the Festival of Speed will host the greatest cars from Toyota’s sporting history. The line-up includes all the world championship Celica models, including the extraordinary Group B TA64 King of Africa that claimed a clean sweep of Safari and Ivory Coast rallies between 1984 and 1986. The Celica ST185 and ST 205 GT-Four cars will be joined by the last works Toyota, the WRC Corolla, and by Midgley Motorsport’s rare TE27 Corolla Levin from the 1970s.
Toyota will offer further attractions at its new festival pavilion, with the GT86 taking pride of place. It will be shown alongside the 2000GT, Toyota’s original 1960s sports coupe, which inspired the GT86’s designers. The presentation will also celebrate the sporting success of the Corolla GT (AE86) of the 1980s, with Midgley Motorsports’ replica of the car that Chris Hodgetts drove to back-to-back BTCC titles in 1986 and 1987.