clearn.png
Wednesday January 19th, 2022 8:46PM

Toyota to switch to GR Supra in NHRA Funny Car competition

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Toyota on Sunday unveiled the GR Supra it will use in the 2022 NHRA season, ending a 10-year run with the Camry in Funny Car competition.

The reveal was made at the NHRA season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, and the car is expected to debut in the 2022 season opener back at Pomona in February. Before the Camry, Toyota has competed with the Celica and Solara in its 20 years of NHRA participation.

The Supra currently competes in NASCAR's second-tier Xfinity Series, and this year Toyota debuted the GR Supra in GT4 sports car competitions in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

“We were looking for other opportunities with the Supra and the NHRA Funny Car is a natural,” David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told The Associated Press at the IMSA season finale at Road Atlanta in Georgia.

“We had a good run with the Camry. But from a marketing side, clearly what we are trying to do is provide more exposure to the Supra, and the NHRA fits perfectly.”

Toyota again worked with Calty Design Research, a studio launched in 1973 that provides innovative design solutions for Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles and supports North American production design. The two-year development process followed Toyota's commitment to designing race vehicles that closely resemble production vehicles.

The new body for 2022 marks the most significant styling characteristics of any previous Funny Car. The body styling is worked into the car from bumper to bumper and there are true lines and details within the body, not just a decal package.

NHRA actually insisted that if Toyota was going to do redesign its Funny Car, it had to be similar to a production vehicle, and Wilson told the AP its submissions were rejected by the series several times before this Supra was approved.

The final product is as close as possible to a street-legal Supra — and yet it still can run 330 mph in an NHRA event.

But safety enhancements were also a vital part of the redesign process and Toyota leaned on driver J.R. Todd for assistance in what changes were needed.

For example, Toyota was unaware that drivers could not see over the injectors on the Camry.

“It's like sitting in a car with no ability to see over the hood,” Wilson said. “So we took the opportunity to work with J.R. Todd and we actually filmed him in his Funny Car and got a clear understanding of what his vision was. We basically raised him up in the seat.”

The new greenhouse in the Supra also has additional safety foam around the driver’s cockpit within the car.

Todd said it was an anomaly when Toyota asked him what the drivers would like to see improved on its new Funny Car.

“We’re normally told to just get in, drive the car and deal with it,” Todd said. “It just goes to show how much Toyota cares and what they’re willing to do to make things better to compete and make sure that the driver is comfortable and give you all the tools and resources you need to win.”

He said he wore camera glasses inside the car, then a visor camera on his helmet, all so that Toyota could clearly see Todd's line of vision while in the seat. Todd said changes would have been difficult under the existing Camry Funny Car, but “from what I’ve seen in the new GR Supra, the visibility is going to be quite a bit better than what we currently have with the Camry.”

“It definitely gives me all the confidence in the world to know that Toyota is always behind you and they’re willing to do whatever it takes for you to go out there and win and compete at a high level," Todd said. "The new GR Supra body is coming in and it’s going to blow everyone’s mind when they see it. For me as a driver, to have a body that’s going to have more front downforce and better aerodynamics than we’ve had in the past, it gets me really excited as a driver and I can’t make as many excuses about keeping it in the groove or getting it down the track. I’m really excited to get it on the track and see what we can do with it.”

___

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Italian Coast Guard rescues 550 migrants from stormy seas
The Italian Coast Guard has rescued more than 550 migrants, many of them young men and boys from Egypt, from traffickers boats in storm-tossed waters off the southern “toe” of Italy's mainland
12:16PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Polish PM mulls asking NATO to hold talks amid border crisis
Poland's prime minister says Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering asking NATO for emergency talks as they struggle to manage a tense standoff on their borders with Belarus
11:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
Disney’s 'Eternals' tops domestic box office for 2nd weekend
Disney and Marvel’s “Eternals” fell 61% in its second weekend in theaters, but it’s still hanging on to first place ahead of newcomers like “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
11:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Medvedev beats Hurkacz in opening match of ATP Finals
Strong serving and consistent baseline play propelled U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev to a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over first-time qualifier Hubert Hurkacz in the opening match of the ATP Finals
10:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Top 25 Takeaways: Oklahoma loss boosts Cincinnati's hopes
The College Football Playoff selection committee’s assessment of Oklahoma ended up looking spot on
9:56AM ( 3 hours ago )
Mazda wins final race in IMSA and Action Express takes title
The final championship of the North American motorsports season came down to the final turn of the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta
1:20AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Sports
Corvette Racing wins GT Le Mans title despite scary crash
Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor needed only to start the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta to win a second consecutive GT Le Mans sports car title
8:09PM ( 16 hours ago )
Rahal to field 2 sports cars in hybrid-based LMDh category
Bobby Rahal’s expansion in motorsports will continue in 2023 when BMW Team RLL will field two prototypes in the new LMDh hybrid-class of IMSA sports car racing
1:36PM ( 23 hours ago )
Hamilton disqualified in qualifying, Verstappen fined
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from Friday’s qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a technical infringement by Mercedes
1:00PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Dubai Air Show opens to industry on the mend amid COVID-19
Dubai’s biennial Air Show has opened to a world still reeling from the pandemic and an aviation industry hard-hit by the coronavirus -  but on the mend
11:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
Workers at federal prisons are committing some of the crimes
An Associated Press investigation has found that more than 100 federal Bureau of Prisons employees have been arrested, convicted or sentenced in criminal cases since the start of 2019
11:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
In gun debate, Rittenhouse verdict unlikely to be last word
A jury will soon deliberate whether Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty of charges, including murder, for shooting three people in Kenosha, Wisconsin
11:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
EXPLAINER: What the defense in Arbery's killing is arguing
Georgia's citizen's arrest and self-defense laws are key to the defense strategy in the trial of the three men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery
8:03AM ( 5 hours ago )
Jurkovec accounts for 5 TDs, Eagles drop Georgia Tech 41-30
Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec accounted for five touchdowns _ running for three and passing for two _ and the Eagles beat Georgia Tech 41-30 to become bowl-eligible
8:53PM ( 16 hours ago )
Bennett, No. 1 Georgia remain perfect, rout Tennessee 41-17
Stetson Bennett ran for a touchdown and threw for another as top-ranked Georgia remained perfect, wrapping up its Southeastern Conference schedule by routing Tennessee 41-17
8:45PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Italian Coast Guard rescues 550 migrants from stormy seas
The Italian Coast Guard has rescued more than 550 migrants, many of them young men and boys from Egypt, from traffickers boats in storm-tossed waters off the southern “toe” of Italy's mainland
12:16PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Polish PM mulls asking NATO to hold talks amid border crisis
Poland's prime minister says Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering asking NATO for emergency talks as they struggle to manage a tense standoff on their borders with Belarus
11:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
Disney’s 'Eternals' tops domestic box office for 2nd weekend
Disney and Marvel’s “Eternals” fell 61% in its second weekend in theaters, but it’s still hanging on to first place ahead of newcomers like “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
11:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
Al-Jazeera says bureau chief detained by Sudanese forces
The Qatar-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera says its bureau chief in Sudan has been detained by security forces
11:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gadhafi's son announces candidacy for president of Libya
Libya's election agency says the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has announced his candidacy for the country’s presidential election next month
11:37AM ( 1 hour ago )