Toyota Supports Grass Roots Racing

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There is something really impressive about Toyota, which is an observation I have made about the company in the recent months that I have spent time with some of their employees.

It is the genuine love of the cars that they have manufactured, not just current models rolling off the production lines, but models of the past as well. There is a fondness for all Toyotas that runs through the blood of the company. One of the PR managers has a completely original WRC Celica GT-Four, the Assistant Chief Engineer of the GT86, Noda-san, spoke fondly of the Corolla AE86 and the 2000GT which are models that both inspired the GT86; he also declared a love of drifting and described employees of Toyota to be petrol heads. These are not just people that have jobs; these are people that are passionate about their work.

It is no surprise then that Toyota has a small fleet of classic cars as press vehicles that they take to various events and that they support grass roots racing. In doing this they are supporting fans of the brand, and fans they are. I was invited as a guest entry to compete in the MR2 Championship at Donington Park. Fans competed in their MR2’s, turned up in their road car MR2’s or other Toyota sports coupe. Wives and girlfriends of competitors all seemed to drive Mk3 MR2’s. It was wonderful to see such genuine enthusiasm spilling across the paddock.

Rogue Motorsport were running my hot red beast for the weekend. It was freshly built and I was the first to race it. They had a total of 12 cars out of 34 competing at the 750 Motor Club race weekend. They all turned up on a transporter which seemed to generate just as much excitement as the actual cars themselves. I was delighted to see that they had gone to the effort of putting my name on the rear quarter windows; I thought I would be driving a plain generic car but actually it was my Toyota for the weekend!