The Story Behind The Greatest Toyota Supra In Racing History

In response to Nissan’s domination of the 1994 Skyline GT-R series, Toyota built the Castrol TOM’s Supra. It debuted in 1995 for the JGTC, according to Auto Week. Toyota chose TOM’s to lead the racing team for its experience. TOM’s represented Toyota at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Group C era, and had ties to Toyota extending back to 1974, Daily Sports Car explains.

While the Supra is recognizable thanks to its pure-white base and green and red lines, the engine under the hood is what really it’s truly known for. Leveraging the JGTC regulation, which allowed cars to use any engine as long it was in the original manufacturer’s range of engines, Toyota fitted the Supra with a two-liter turbocharged 3S-GT. This made the car lighter than Nissan’s, and added agility, speed around corners, and 493 horsepower and 600 Newton meters of torque. Proud of its racing DNA, Toyota says the TOM’s Supra won the JGTC championship four times: 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005.

Castrol TOM’s took its first victory on June 25, 1995 (via Daily Sports Car). Nissan and Toyota were also battling Goh’s McLaren team that year. When it left the circuit, the two brands became each others’ main competitors. Castrol TOM’s introduced several cars in the coming years with #36, #37, and #39 garnering the most glory. The Castrol TOM’s GT also evolved with a sequential shift, aerodynamic changes, and a lighter engine for performance. In 2001, Castrol dropped the sponsorship, but TOM’s still won two GT500 championships in 2006 and 2009. The GT500 championship is where it all started, where Nissan, Honda, and Toyota began their GT showdown — a rivalry that is still going strong in the Autobacs Super GT Series.

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