A Historical Celebration of Road Sports Cars That Took To The Tracks...

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GT Racecar A to Z -  


CELICA TURBO  ( Generation 4 1985-89 )

 RACED : IMSA GTO 1986-88 ( 1987 Champions )

 ENGINE : TOYOTA 4T-GT 4 Cylinder

1998 cc Turbo ( 1987 ) , 2090 cc Turbo ( 1988 )

POWER : approx 450 BHP @8000 RPM


IMSA  RECORD : 13 wins , 30 podiums

After racing in F1 and CART Dan Gurney`s AAR

( All American Racers ) team began its fruitfull

relationship with Toyota by entering the 1985

IMSA GTO series in July with a state of the art

Celica racer. A spaceframe chassis drivetrain

changed from production front to now rear wheel

drive. Used the Group B rally engine. Bodywork

of oversized wheel arches , air damn and spoiler.

Initially used the Generation 3 body , the Gen 4

body debuted at Portland , July 1986. Dennis

Aase had run 4 races in 1985 before a full 1986

season with 2 cars for Aase and Chris Cord . 6

podium finishes , 1 win for Aase at Watkins Glen.

1987 was the Championship winning year for Cord

with 4 wins , Willy T.Ribbs in the other car also

won 4 but placed 5th in the Championship. In all

Celicas finshed on the podiums 16 times in 1986

and also 8th overall at the Daytona 24 , second in


4 more wins and 8 podiums in all in 1988 , Cord

and Ribbs again sharing the wins equally. The 2

door bodyshape was used and a 2.1 litre engine.

The experience gained by AAR in GTO proved the

springboard for the team to enter the next level

of IMSA class , the GTP class with the Eagle

prototypes which would be succesful in the early



1987 : The IMSA GTO Championship winning car on the Daytona banking at round

one. The All American Racers used the 3-door Celica body for their winning car

1988 : The final season before AAR moved up to the GTP class the team

used the 2-door Celica.



Generation 1 `Liftback`

 Raced in German Group 5 ( DRM ) 1977 + 78

1978 Nurburgring 1000 kms

ENGINE :  Toyota 4 Cylinder 2100 cc KKK Turbo


Porsches won every Deutsche Rennsport Meisterscaft division

1 races for Group 5 GT cars from 1976 to 1979 with only one

other car close to challenging their dominance. Toyota Germany

entered a lone Celica , prepared by Schnitzer and sponsored by

designer-glasses company Rodenstock. Hesketh F1 driver Harald

Ertl debuted the wide-bodied coupe at Hockenheim in July 1977.

His 3rd and last DRM race with car gained it its highest series

finish of 4th at the Nurburgring finale.

It returned in 1978 , now painted red not blue , in the hands of

Rolf Stommelen , one of the top GT/ sports car drivers of the

70`s competing at 5 rounds and also ( with Ertl ) the World

Championship race Nurburgring 1000 kms. That race and 3 other

from the DRM the Celica qualified a respectable 6th though the

lack of development didnt help its reliability and Stommelen ,

like Ertl only finished 1 race ( 8th at Mainz-Finthen). Only 2 cars

were built , a spare one appeared in 1978 races and despite its

lack of wins it was a brave effort from the Japanese firm to

challenge the Porsche dominance.

This wasnt the first Turbo Celica however as a 2-litre works

LB car with a more aerodynamic nose won the Fuji 1000 kms

in July 1973 driven by Takahashi + Misaki.


 Raced in Japanese endurance races 1966/67

PRODUCTION : 337  ( 1967 - 70 )

ENGINE : 6 Cylinder DOHC 1988 cc

POWER : 200 BHP @7200 RPM



( data from Toyota Motor Sports Magazine )

Fabulous fastback coupe in the style of a Ferrari GTO and the

first great Japanese GT car. It won 4 major national long

distance races outright proving the reliability of Toyota .

Built in conjuction with Yamaha and an open top version even

appeared in the James Bond film `You only live twice`. The

engine was based on the Toyota Crown unit and Yamaha added

twin overhead camshafts giving 150 bhp in road form.

Expensive and few were built so whilst it would have

made interesting comparison in race form with the rest of

the worlds similar GT cars few were ever raced abroad. The

Datsun 240z on similar line however would be the sports car

to break into America a few years later. 60 were exported to

the US and sold for $ 6,800 and would become highly valuble

collectors items years later.

TOYOTA 2000 GT top finishes :

03-05-66 Japan GP 3rd  , 26-06-66 Suzuka 1000 kms  1st ,

26-03-67 Suzuka 500 kms 1st , 09-04-67 Fuji 24 hours ,

09-07-67 Fuji 1000 kms.


TOYOTA MR2 ( Mark 2 `W20` )

( raced in Spa 24 hours 1989-93 , ADAC GT 1993- 96 )

 ENGINE : TOYOTA 4 Cylinder 1998cc N/A

 POWER :  158 BHP in road tune

( Turbo cars had 200 . HKS Spec cars had 240 BHP )

 TOP SPEED : 139 MPH road

PRODUCTION : Mark 1 ( 1984-89 ) ,Mark 2 ( 1989-99)

                           Mark 3 ( 1999-07 )

Long running 2-seater sports car known for its fine

handling due to its modern mid-engined layout. The

car appeared at the Spa 24 hours 1989 to 1993 races

when the traditional touring car marathon added cars

in the Belgian Procar classes running to more or less

barely modified ,Group N regs. Belgian Jose Close did

1989-92 having done the first in a 1.6 mark 1 then in a

2.0 mark 2 , twice finishing 27th ( see table ). This was

rare for a genuine 2 seater to compete in a touring car


In 1993 the ADAC launched its new GT series and the

MR2 , again fairly standard , won division 2 in the hands

of Holger Speisberg. He only won the 1st round but

consistancy was enough to take the title. Other MR2s

placed 3rd + 4th after their drivers each also won 1

round. The MR2s continued in this German series until

1996 with Marco Bromberger winning the class once in

1994 and having changed to a single class in 1996

 Gerhard Ludwig won at Avus outright in 1996.


( Raced in International events early/mid 1970`s )

 ENGINE : Toyota 4 Cylinder

POWER :  275 BHP  ( Swiss car 1976 )



<a href="http://www.flickriver.com/photos/glosters/1185519452/">Silverstone 6 hours Race 1976 on Flickriver</a>

TOYOTA MR2 record at the SPA 24 hours :