The all-new 2022 GR 86 will arrive at Toyota dealerships soon, but race fans don’t need to wait. They can see it in action this weekend as it paces the National Auto Sport Association National Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. The pace car role kicks off this Thursday, September 16, as Toyota’s latest Gazoo Racing sports coupe leads racers at Daytona International Speedway. Winner-take-all championship races take place Sunday, September 19.
“We are thrilled to have the new GR 86 selected as the official pace car of NASA’s National Championships,” said Michael Tripp, vice president of Toyota Vehicle Marketing and Communications. “This car is perfectly at home on a road course, and it will be great to see it lead all the classes out onto the track.”
Sporting custom red, white and black graphics, the new GR 86 will proudly lead each of the 25-plus classes and nearly 400 competitors from all around the country at the prestigious National Championships event. The championship races will take place on the 3.81-mile road racing circuit made famous by the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires will start with two qualifying races, where competitors earn points based on their finishing position of both races. Those points then set the grid (and the stage) for the final on Sunday. Spec classes require competitors to drive nearly identical cars with a spec tire, while more modified classes will see different vehicle makes battling it out head-to-head on whatever tire they choose.
Toyota and NASA first partnered in 2019 to give all GR Supra owners a complimentary one year NASA membership as well as a free day of instruction on a track. The program expanded earlier this year to include all GR sports cars, like the GR 86, so owners can learn precision driving skills from expert instructors in a track environment.
“It’s really an honor to have Toyota step up with the GR 86 as the pace car of our marquee championships event,” said Jeremey Croiset, Vice President of NASA. “I can’t think of a more perfect car for this, and I know a ton of our competitors will be eyeing it for their next street or track car!”
The 2021 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires welcomes fans in person to the event on September 16-19, which also will be live streamed. The broadcast and more information can be found at NASA Championships event page.
The all-new 2022 Toyota GR 86 features a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with 228-hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It will come in two grades, GR 86 and GR 86 Premium, and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. More information on the all-new 2022 Toyota GR 86 can be found at https://www.toyota.com/upcoming-vehicles/gr86.