A Lexus RC coupe will take on one of motor racing’s toughest challenges when it competes in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring from 25-28 May.
Prepared and run by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the RC will face a gruelling test of speed, handling and endurance. Each 24km lap of the legendary German circuit features around 200 corners and follows the natural contours of the region, climbing and falling through an elevation of 300m.
The event marks the eleventh consecutive participation for Lexus, forming an important element of parent company Toyota’s strategy for developing both its cars and its people. Each year employees are recruited as mechanics and engineers for the race crew, with the aim of building teamwork and technical skills through the practice and qualifying sessions as well as the round-the-clock race itself. It’s a harsh, demanding environment that exceeds anything they will ever experience in a traditional test track session.
The Lexus RC will compete in near-road-going specification, powered by a modified version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine featured in the RC 200t model. Driving duties will rotate between (see below left to right) Takuto Iguchi, Takamitsu Matsui, Naoya Gamo and Hisashi Yabuki.
Last year the RC was sidelined from the action with powertrain issues. However, chief mechanic Yasuo Hirata is confident of much-improved performance this time out: “The whole team is working to improve their precision and resolve any remaining problems with the car,” he said. “We will continue our efforts right up to the last minute.”
The Lexus RC has shown steady improvement in testing as well as a preliminary race in the VLN endurance series at the Nürburgring. Driver Takuto Iguchi explained: “The car ran mostly trouble-free and the performance was almost too good in some ways, but you can never be sure what might happen in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. I hope the whole team will be able to maintain our focus and compete with a great sense of unity.”