- A total of 21 Toyota GT86 drivers from 10 countries have registered for the 2019 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy
- New season started with events in Croatia, Finland, Austria and Germany
- 2018 Trophy winner Hermann Gassner Jr. leads the standings with two class wins
The second season of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy started on 1 March and the participants immediately began to register points in race and rally events across Europe. With the entry list increasing to 21 drivers, the Trophy now has a more international flavour. The list features drivers from 10 different European countries: Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. With the CS-Cup and CS-V3 racers and the CS-R3 rally car, all Toyota GT86 models developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) are represented.
The increased competition did not stop last year’s TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy winner Hermann Gassner Jr. establishing himself as the early leader. The rally ace, driving a GT86 CS-R3, won his class in both the Rebenland and Leitzachtal Rally to lead the Trophy with 39 points. Second place is occupied by Manuel Amweg and Chris Chadwick who were the best-placed Trophy participants in the season-opening VLN round at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in their GT86 CS-Cup. Behind them in third lies Janne Eronen who successfully survived the snowy conditions of the SM-Itäralli in his RWD GT86 CS-R3. The Finn was in fact the first driver to score Trophy points this year alongside Juraj Sebalj from Croatia who took on the Rally Kumrovec in his home country on the same weekend and is currently fifth overall.
Sandwiched by those two rally drivers is the Belgian Team Pit Lane quartet of Olivier Muytjens, “Brody”, Jacques Derenne and Marc Duez who also scored points in the first VLN round. For Duez, the entry marked a return and a debut at the same time. The motorsport all-rounder used to be a works driver for Toyota Team Europe in the early 1990s before winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours four times, but he had never raced the GT86 CS-Cup before. Duez was delighted after his first race in the car and he said: “The car is balanced very well. Engine, chassis and brakes suit perfectly to the roller-coaster ride at the Nordschleife. You can easily explore the limits and fight for the class win.”
The increased number of participants and busy first weeks show that the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy is well received within the GT86 motorsport family, and this is also down to the support from partners RAVENOL, PFC and IKmedia. While the motorsport experts from RAVENOL take care of the first fill of all TMG-built GT86 cars, PFC Brakes offers discounts on its products to all Trophy participants.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy allows all drivers of TMG-built GT86 CS-Cup and CS-V3 racers or CS-R3 rally cars to compete in any race or rally across Europe and fight for a total prize money of €80,000. In order to score points participants can submit their results from all events they entered during the assessment period, from 1 March until 30 November. At the end of the season, the 10 best results of each competitor will be added to reach the final result of the Trophy. The points available on individual events vary according to the length and number of competitors entered.
At the end of the season, the top five GT86 drivers will be rewarded; €30,000 will go to the winner, €20,000 to the second-placed driver, €15,000 for third place, €10,000 for fourth and €5,000 for fifth. On top of this, Toyota Deutschland GmbH has offered to reward the best-placed TMG GT86 driver on every round of the VLN, RCN and German Rally Championship (DRM) with €1,000 each.
Copyright-free, high-resolution images of the TMG’s motorsport activities are available for media use on www.toyota-motorsport-photos.com.
TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH
Senior Coordinator Communications