Designed for performance-minded driving enthusiasts, the Toyota GR Corolla has quickly built an avid fan base across America. With rally-inspired roots, a 300 horsepower turbocharged engine, and All Wheel Drive, it’s aggressive stance and powerful good looks brought sports car fans a pure Toyota hot hatch. Many race fans got their first glimpse of the model at historic Laguna Seca last year, when it served as the official pace car for the 2022 NASA National Championships. As an encore performance, the GR Corolla continues its pace car duties for 2023.

Leading the pack at the 2023 National Championships, Sept. 7-10, 2023, at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt Race) in Wampum, Pennsylvania, will be a GR Corolla MORIZO Edition wearing red, white, and black graphics reminiscent of fan-favorite Toyota motorsports and endurance racing liveries. The NASA National Championships, the organization’s marquee event, features NASA race drivers from 14 regions across the United States competing for the top prize, including Sunday’s winner-take-all NASA championship finals.

“At Toyota we have a passion for motorsports so it’s an honor to support racing enthusiasts by pacing all NASA Championship races,” said Mike Tripp, Vice President Toyota Vehicle Marketing and Communications. “For three years running we’ve put a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing model in the pace car spot and we’re thrilled to keep playing our part in the race to find the next group of NASA champions.”

The GR Corolla will once again pace more than 350 entrants competing in 25 classes at the Pitt Race. The 2.78-mile, 19-turn, natural-terrain road course is sure to be a gripping battle in each class, as it’s known for its challenging layout, elevation changes, and scenic surroundings.

The pace car role is just one way TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is connecting with the enthusiast community. As part of a continuing program put together by Toyota and NASA, every customer who buys a new GR Corolla will automatically receive a complimentary one-year NASA membership, including one complimentary track day at a NASA High Performance Driving Event. This program started in 2019 as a way to give GR Supra owners performance driving experiences under the tutelage of expert instructors. The program has expanded to include all GR sports cars with the GR86 and the GR Corolla joining their GR Supra stablemate.

“The relationship between TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and NASA has been an amazing way to introduce sports car owners to the world of performance driving in a safe and responsible manner,” said Jeremy Croiset, Chief Executive Officer of NASA. “We’re excited to once again have the GR Corolla as the official NASA Championships pace car, and we’re expecting to see a lot of very exciting races at Pitt Race. And for those who can’t make it out in person, they can tune in on to see some of the very best amateur racing in the country.”

The 2023 GR Corolla features a turbocharged, three-cylinder engine delivering 300 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, with the MORIZO Edition bumping the torque figure to 295 lb.-ft. This remarkable 1.6-liter engine is mated to Toyota’s rally developed GR-Four AWD system, which gives drivers a choice of 60-40, 50-50 or 30-70 power distribution to the front and rear wheels. Drivers can also select from four drive modes, ECO, Normal, Sport, or Custom to fit a wide variety of driving situations.

Available exclusively with an intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), the 2023 GR Corolla is available in three grades: the GR Corolla Core, Circuit Edition. or ultra-aggressive GR Corolla MORIZO Edition. The GR Corolla MORIZO Edition benefits from special enhancements by GR engineers, like an exclusive close ratio iMT with shorter gearing, increased chassis rigidity, and an increase in nearly 20 lb.-ft. of torque (295 lb.-ft.). It also subtracts nearly 100 pounds of weight as compared to the GR Corolla Circuit Edition model, by removing the rear seat and other components, further sharpening the handling of this already nimble hot hatch. For additional press materials about the GR Corolla please visit the Toyota USA Newsroom here.

Image courtesy of NASA

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