11 May 2006
TRD - A RACING HISTORY
Since its conception 30 years ago, TRD has been synonymous with success in the world of motorsport, with victories in some of open wheel racing's most prestigious events, sportscar and GT glory across the globe, various off-road feats and emerging triumphs in the world of stock car racing.
TRD was created out of two Toyota vehicle preparation companies: Toyopet Maintenance Company Ltd (founded in 1954) and Toyopet Service Centre Company Ltd, or TOSCO (which succeeded the first entity in 1964).
These companies oversaw Toyota's first forays into motorsport.
It was in Australia that Toyota's very first involvement in an international motorsport event occurred when Toyopet prepared Toyota Crowns for the Around Australia Rally in 1957.
The following year a Toyopet Crown won the Around Japan Rally.
TOSCO oversaw the legendary 2000GT's successful bid to establish a new world record in speed trials in 1966 - the same year that the company manufactured a re-modelled 2000GT to appear in the Bond movie You Only Live Twice.
In 1976, TOSCO was renamed Toyota Racing Development and, within the next decade, TRD would enjoy success at some of the most famous events across North America and Japan.
The year 1985 saw a TRD-powered Celica take Toyota's first win in the GTU class of the IMSA sportscar series at Laguna Seca. Just two years later a Celica Turbo claimed the manufacturer's and driver's title in the GTO class.
TRD had success off road in 1988 when it won manufacturer's and driver's titles in the US MTEG stadium truck series.
In 1992, the TS010 became Toyota's first podium winner at Le Mans. The TRD engine helped Masanori Sekiya become the first Japanese driver to climb the podium at the prestigious event.
TRD then dominated American sportscars in 1992 and 1993, with Juan Manuel Fangio II taking the Eagle Mark III to back-to-back IMSA manufacturer's and driver's titles.
Fangio's All American Racers team-mates - PJ Jones, Rocky Moran and Mark Dismore - took the Eagle Mark III to victory in the famous Daytona 24 Hours in 1993.
In Japan, TRD began manufacturing Toyota Supras to compete in the Japanese GT Championship from 1994. This program has been a stunning success over 12 seasons with numerous race victories and championships.
The Supra campaign culminated in 2005 with TRD developing a new Lexus SC430-based car for the 2006 campaign. The new vehicle won on debut at the Suzuka circuit in the first round of this year's championship.
TRD's success at the daunting Pikes Peak Hillclimb is astounding, with New Zealander Rod Millen winning a stunning five outright championships, and eight class victories. Millen's time of 10m04.06s, set in a TRD-powered all-wheel-drive Celica turbo in 1994, still stands as the fastest time ever up the 12.42-mile, 156-turn dirt road.
In 1996 TRD began supplying engines to the CART open-wheel racing series, based in America.
Scott Pruett scored TRD's first pole position in CART in 1999 in California, while Juan Pablo Montoya scored its first win at the Milwaukee Mile the following season.
In 2002, Brazilian Cristiano da Matta took the CART title with an impressive seven wins and seven pole positions.
The following year TRD moved to the rival Indy Racing League (IRL) series with immediate success. Toyota engines powered Scott Dixon to championship glory, and Gil de Ferran to victory in the famous Indy 500 in their first season.
Toyota entered the world of stock car racing in 2004, with TRD-prepared Tundras competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced that it would enter the most popular form of racing in the US in 2007, NASCAR's premier class - the Nextel Cup.
This year now marks the introduction of the TRD brand in Australia - spanning both high-performance road vehicles and Toyota's motorsport activities throughout the country.
Neal Bates' Toyota Team Racing now becomes Team TRD, becoming the first Australian-based TRD racing team, and hoping to add to the long history of racing success for the TRD brand.
For further information contact:
T: 0418 447 064
Gil de Ferran after he won the prestigious Indy 500 in 2003.