If you haven’t heard of the Lexus LFA and drive a Toyota, then I’m going to forgive you, despite the fact that the Toyota Motor Corporation own Lexus and the LFA is the company’s first bona fide supercar.
The production version, which isn’t all that different from the LFA race cars that line up on the grid at this weekend’s Nurburgring 24-Hour Race, is a truly awesome piece of kit.
Powered by a 4,805cc front-mid-mounted V10 engine, which produces over 367kW and mated to a paddle-shift sequential manual transmission, the LFA is competing in the SP8 (near production) class.
But what is “GAZOO” Racing? If you take a look on their website, it talks about “A project to promote the “joy” and “dreams” of cars together with auto fans”
To me, GAZOO racing is Toyota’s factory racing division, which I only discovered at last year’s Nurburgring 24-Hour race, when they were sharing a pit garage with Aston Martin.
I remember asking one of the Japanese crew in pit lane what was the significance of the small cartoon like patch featuring a dog, which I had noticed on Akio Toyoda’s jacket.
He went to explain that it was the logo for GAZOO Racing and was in fact, an image and the name of Mr Toyoda’s family pet!
Trivia aside Lexus is using this race to finalise the development of the LFA before it goes into production in December this year.
If last year’s race is anything to go by, there will be a lot of interest in these race cars, given they look and sound remarkably similar to the production versions. That’s especially true of the construction, engine and transmission.
Naturally, the race cars are fitted with FIA mandatory safety modifications and aero enhancements including a large rear wing for increased downforce, but apart from these additions, the road car will be noticeably similar.