From the moment Toyota revealed the new Supra, it was inevitable it’d end up as a race car.
Indeed we’ve not even seen the road car’s final form yet. The global reveal for the car was in the guise of a GTE category GT racer.
So it’s probably little surprise to find out that Toyota plans to give the car a track debut for the 2019 racing season. It might be more of a surprise to find out that it plans to do so in NASCAR.
Yes, on February 16 2019, the Toyota Supra will take to the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona, Florida.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) is a junior tier. It sits below NASCAR’s main event, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
It’s essentially a spec racing series. All entries use the same basic chassis, dubbed “Car of Tomorrow”. It’s 206 inches long, weighs 3,200lb and uses a 5.8-liter, naturally aspirated V8 capable of 700hp when unrestricted. A four speed gearbox delivers the torque to the rear wheels.
The various manufacturers are permitted to make the cars’ front and rear ends distinctive, but within tight aerodynamic specifications. This gives the cars a more individual look, despite the common origins.
It does mean that the Supra NXS is not especially closely related to the car we’ll (eventually) be able to buy. In fact it’s mechanically a completely different car altogether.
Supra replaces Camry in NXS, meaning that Toyota will campaign three different cars in the three main NASCAR series in 2019. Camry will continue in the Cup series, while Tundra provides the brand’s representation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Ed Laukes, group vice-president of Toyota marketing said:
“Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart. We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra, and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
For those of you still hoping to see the production version of the car, you’ll need to head to the UK next weekend. Toyota will present the Supra, albeit still heavily camouflaged, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, from July 12-15.