Mission: Building Success

Works motorsport, research and development, customer motorsport – these are the pillars of TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG). And the GT86 CS-Cup car fits perfectly.

TMG is a subsidiary of TOYOTA Motor Corporation and is based in Toyota Allee in Cologne, with around 250 employees delivering high performance on a variety of projects.

Motorsport is a major part of TMG’s role and here the task is to deliver race and championship-winning technology, as it did for example in 2014 when Toyota won both titles in the World Endurance Championship. All recent Toyota LMP1 cars, including the TS050 HYBRID which came so close to winning Le Mans last month, have been designed and built in Cologne, with powertrains delivered from Higashi-Fuji in Japan.

Behind the scenes of the 30,000m² technical centre we find state-of-the-art technology, in use to develop innovative race cars and ever-better road cars. The engine, transmission and chassis test benches leave nothing to be desired. In TMG’s autoclaves, carbon fibre parts are “baked” and small parts produced through additive manufacturing. Here we find a synergy between TMG’s various motorsport projects; winglets for the TS050 HYBRID are built alongside parts for the GT86 CS-Cup.

While Formula 1 teams test their latest racers in TMG’s two wind tunnels, the GT86 Cup racer is built under the same roof. “The basis is a version of the sport coupé, with less comfort elements, in a specification rarely seen in Europe,” says Nico Ehlert, Principal Engineer Customer Motorsport. “This makes for less input when dismantling and reconstructing it. After all, this basis has no extras like navigation systems or air conditioning. It is thus lighter and more suitable.”

The car is completely dismantled, with the chassis still just about rolling. After the chassis is prepared, all open parts and wires are sealed for protection. Then the safety cell, designed by TMG, is installed by an external provider and the chassis painted ’pearl white’. Prior to assembly as a CS-Cup, the chassis is subjected to a rigorous quality inspection. Assembling a CS-Cup car then takes two mechanics about 80 hours of combined work. In total it means a work input for dismantling and assembling of 120 hours.

Prior to delivery, the finished racer goes through some final tests and adjustments, with data gained during the development period by running a Nürburgring Nordschleife simulation on the seven-post rig, within TMG’s extensive chassis R&D area.. Nico adds: “TMG therefore guarantees that the same specs have been met in the same way in all our cars.“

The car is then rolled out and ready for delivery. “But we continue to verify our cars’ performance at regular intervals. After all, all cars are supposed to start a race on an equal footing,“ Nico assures us. TMG puts much emphasis on the fact that many of the additional racing parts used to convert a GT86 street car to a CS-Cup racer are produced at TMG. “We develop and produce them ourselves, not only to utilise our capacity but also to be able to meet our own quality standards,” Nico says.

State-of-the-art technology aside, TMG’s motivated and qualified staff are its real trump card. “One ingredient of our recipe for success is what we call multi-project management,” Nico explains. “While for each project, be it our works or customer project, there is a small core of designated staff but our engineers and mechanics are used flexibly. This helps for a permanent transfer of knowledge that benefits all projects. And it makes us dynamic and our development work much more efficient,” Nico adds.

That knowledge means that every GT86 CS-Cup in action at the Nürburgring benefits from technology, processes and experience gained through TMG’s World Rally Championship, Formula 1 and WEC history. And when the car benefits, so do TMG’s customers.

Interested teams and drivers will find more detailed information on the TMG GT86 Cup at www.gt86-cup.com.

Royalty-free high-resolution images of the TMG GT86 CS-V3 and the TMG GT86 Cup can be found at: www.toyota-motorsport-photos.com