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Toyota SA's GR Cup expands to include 6 all-new GR 86 racecars - piloted by local motoring journos
TOYOTA SA'S GR CUP EXPANDS TO INCLUDE 6 ALL-NEW GR 86 RACECARS - PILOTED BY LOCAL MOTORING JOURNOS
In 2022 Toyota SA started up their very own GR Cup race series, and it was rather successful. The company took six of their top-spec GR Yaris models and Toyota Gazoo Racing SA gave them a once-over to make sure they were safe for proper track use. The cars were mostly stock besides the addition of a roll cage and a few small tweaks, and they ate up local tracks with ease. The field of cars were driven by a bunch of local motoring journalists, but most of them had previous track racing experience and so did very well to represent their respective publications. The track stuff looked like so much fun that Toyota SA boss man Andrew Kirby even took to the track, and that must have cemented just how cool the series is because it was extended into the 2023 season. For this season, the six GR Yaris cars are joined by a fleet of the all-new GR 86 models that have been given the same track-prep treatment. Once again, these will be driven by local motoring journos who will give feedback and race reports after every race - it’s a clever way to ensure race coverage in a world that prefers to cover rugby and cricket. This initiative isn’t just good for the Toyota and Gazoo Racing brands, but for motorsport as a whole.
For this year’s lineup, we have Brendan Staniforth from Maroela Media, Setshaba Mashigo from ASAMM, Denis Droppa from Times Live, Chad Luckhoff from AutoTrader SA, Mark Jones from The Citizen and Reuben van Niekerk from Wheels24 competing for top honours. Now we know that Jones has done this before and has extensive track and race experience, so he should be running at the top, and while the others have played on track too, SXdrv money is on Chad Luckhoff to take the season win. Why? Well, he’s been involved in and around motorsport for as long as we can remember, he’s been a race commentator and also runs SA Drift which was one of the very few places that covered the sport of drifting in SA. Not only can drive, but he’s also one of those super technical chaps who will use the car and track data to his advantage. Basically, he’s hungry to prove himself on track, and we can't wait to see how he does. The six GR Yaris models used in the inaugural series will join the GR 86s on track at the hands of development drivers, presumably from the Toyota Junior Academy as well as e-sports drivers (TBC) that Toyota is grooming for the world of racing. That means there will be a great field of 12 Gazoo Racing cars on track and that means there should be some great action. With all the cars being identical in spec, it will come down to the skill of the drivers which means the winner at the end of the year will have really earned the win. The GR Cup will travel around SA for a total of seven rounds, the first one kicking off on the 18th of February at Zwartops Raceway in Pretoria as part of the popular Extreme Festival.
Take a look at the YouTube video that introduces us to all the motoring journalists and the publications they represent who will be behind the wheel of the track-prepped Toyota GR 86 cars in this year's GR Cup that will be held on various racetracks around South Africa: GR Cup 2023 - Driver / Media Partners | Toyota South Africa
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