Home / Social media / News / Toyota Gazoo Racing SA's GR Cup series gets new cars and drivers for 2024.


Just when people were thinking that manufacturers in SA weren’t into motorsports like in previous years, Toyota pulled it out and slapped a whopper on the table. To get more eyes on their then-new GR Yaris, the company set up the Toyota Gazoo Racing GR Cup and put a bunch of local motoring journos and well-known personalities into a fleet of GR Yaris cars and let them loose on the country’s racetracks. The cars were basically stock, the only real upgrades being on the safety side with an approved roll cage and a race seat along with some eye-catching livery. The cars performed flawlessly and the result was a hard-fought championship that proved the reliability and pace of one of the coolest cars created in the last 20 years. Following on that success, the GR Cup series returned in 2023, and this time a bunch of new GR 86 cars were added into the mix and the keys were handed to a bunch of new drivers. This too was a successful endeavour, the on-track action was brilliant thanks to all the cars being equal in spec. Driver skill became the focus, and the mostly amateur drivers put in some serious lap times and showed pace that could match a few other race series. You can watch the final round of the season below, I’m sure you’ll agree that the action was top-notch and that the cars were properly impressive. Capitalising on the hype and exposure gained from two successful race seasons, the folk at Toyota SA decided to carry the series on in 2024, and it looks set to be just as exciting with another car and driver change. This time round the selected drivers will have a chance to battle with the new GR Corolla, with Netstar as a main sponsor. The series will see six members of the media compete over seven rounds.

The 2024 season will see the GR Corollas on track and as with previous years, the cars are stock but have approved roll cages fitted for safety, and of course that rather cool-looking new black livery. They have a healthy 221 kW of power on tap, and all models have manual transmissions. The first event comes up in a couple of weeks, kicking off at the Killarney International Circuit in Cape Town on 15-16 March. Round 2 occurs at the iconic Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on 11-13 April. Round 3 takes place in Pretoria at Zwartkops Raceway on 17-18 May and Round 4 is set for Aldo Scribante Raceway in Gqeberha at the end of June. Round 5 sees the contingent travel to the East London Grand Prix Circuit at the end of July, and Round 6 heads back to Cape Town for a second chance to tame the Killarney International Circuit on 21 September. The final round of the year sees everyone return to altitude for a second attack on Zwartkops Raceway on 25-26 October. Five of the six drivers are new to the series, the list includes Bernie Hellberg from Driven, Hannes Visser from kykNET’s La't Wiel, Alex Shahini from CAR Magazine, Jaco van der Merwe from The Citizen, Kumbi Mtshakazi from Kumbi-M on Cars and Sean Nurse from AutoTrader. Nurse competed in the inaugural GR Cup when the GR Yaris cars were used. "The GR Cup has proven highly popular both with the drivers and the fans," says Toyota SA Motor's Glenn Crompton, Vice-President of Marketing. "This year, the series promises to be more exciting than ever, thanks in part to the powerful new GR Corolla, which will be used by the media representatives." Maybe one day we'll crack an invite...

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows off the last race of the 2023 season of the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA's exciting GR Cup that saw a bunch of media and celebs competing for top honours in a tough and challenging season in basically stock Toyota GR 86 cars - an indication of how good this 2024 season should be: AutoTrader Goes Racing | Episode 10 - The Final Showdown | AutoTrader

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