The 2013 Toyota Camry
Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing for the images.
Thanks to TRD for the images
NASCAR considering reducing horsepower to Cup cars next season: NASCAR is planning on making significant engine package changes in 2015 to extend the life of Sprint Cup powerplants and reduce horsepower. And along with engine changes, there likely will be aerodynamic and tire changes for the Cup cars in 2015 as well. That's the word from NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton. Pemberton said the sanctioning body has had four meetings so far with representatives from Chevy, Ford and Toyota and race teams about how to implement those changes. No consensus has been reached yet, according to Pemberton, but discussions are ongoing in advance of making the changes for next year. Although Pemberton declined to specify how many horsepower NASCAR is looking to cut, sources familiar with the discussions said the reduction would be in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 horsepower. Currently, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines make about 860-900 horsepower at most tracks. Discussions are still in the early stages, Pemberton said, but given the fact that there are so few engine suppliers now, they will need plenty of lead-time to make changes for next year.
Among the options being discussed are reduction in engine displacement and changes to throttle body size. Sources familiar with the discussions say that Chevy and Toyota are pushing for a reduction to 5.0-liter engines, while the Ford camp is pushing for the use of tapered spacers, such as are used in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series engines. Pemberton said any change in the engine package likely would necessitate other changes as well.
"It's not fully appreciated the fact that we've had the same engine for basically 25 or 30 years and it's at 850 or 860 horsepower, where it used to be 500," Pemberton said. "And we are at the same race tracks where we used to run 160 (miles per hour) we're now qualifying at 190 and running 213 going into the corners. There's been a lot of engineering and gains made across the board. Goodyear ... we have the same tire patch as when we started.(FoxSports)(3-23-2014)
Open wheel split caused Toyota to look to NASCAR: Had the CART-IRL split of the mid-1990s never occurred, Toyota might still be racing open-wheelers instead of having a huge presence in NASCAR. But according to Toyota's U.S. racing boss, the split diluted the value of Indy car racing so badly that it ceased being of interest to the automaker. "To demonstrate the lack of value ... in 2003, we won the Indy 500, we won the race in Japan, we won 13 out of 16 races that year, and that fall, we still had to sell to our management to stay in the sport," said David Wilson, president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A., the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based racing arm of Toyota. "As much as we loved it from an engineering standpoint, we also starting realizing that there were a lot of empty seats," said Wilson. "And open-wheel in the United States was not exactly catching fire, so that started our ... relationship with NASCAR."(Fox Sports)(3-22-2014)
TRD U.S.A. Appoints David Wilson President and GM: Effective immediately, David Wilson is promoted to president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). Previously, Wilson, who has been with TRD since 1989, was acting president and general manager of the organization since last June. Prior to that, he held the title of senior vice president. "David Wilson has been an integral part of the success of our Toyota Racing efforts, and we are pleased to promote him to this important leadership position at TRD," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "We look forward to many more trophies in NASCAR, NHRA and other racing series." Wilson is responsible for all TRD activities in North America, including engine development and manufacturing and chassis design/development, as well as team and sanctioning body relationships for Toyota teams participating in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), United States Auto Club (USAC), National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and off-road competition. His responsibilities include overseeing two TRD facilities: the engine manufacturing location in Costa Mesa and the chassis engineering center in Salisbury, N.C.
"We have an outstanding group of TRD associates in Costa Mesa and Salisbury, and the entire organization is looking forward to the start of the 2014 racing season," said Wilson. "Together, TRD and all our race team partners are looking forward to getting the season started, winning races and battling for championships. Since TRD was established in 1979, we've had many racing firsts and highlights, and we look forward to adding to that list of accomplishments in the future."
During the 2013 season, Toyota drivers registered a single season record of 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, including three victories during the 10-race Chase championship playoff. Toyota's 41 wins across all three NASCAR national touring series in 2013 were the most among the three manufacturers competing in the sport. Since Toyota began participating in NASCAR at the start of the 2004 season, Camry and Tundra drivers have recorded a total of 263 wins (63 NSCS, 88 Nationwide Series and 112 Camping World Truck Series).
Since its inception in 1979, TRD has developed cutting-edge race engine technology for a wide range of motorsports activities. The state-of-the-art operation includes complete engine design, development and assembly, as well as production and development of engine component manufacturing.
Together, Toyota and TRD have earned many illustrious accomplishments in American racing history, including a win in the 2003 Indianapolis 500 with Gil de Ferran, multiple victories in the Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. Toyota has also earned manufacturer's and driver's championships in the Indy Racing League, NHRA, Grand-Am, CART, IMSA, SCORE, USAC, MTEG, CORR, TORC and LOORRS. In stock car competition, Toyota has earned six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series manufacturer's championships (2006-2010 and 2013) and three consecutive Nationwide Series manufacturer's titles (2008-2010).(TRD PR)(1-10-2014)
Toyota not commenting on MWR penalties: Toyota has elected not to release a statement regarding the recent NASCAR sanctions against Michael Waltrip Racing stemming from what NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton characterized as an attempt "to manipulate the outcome of the race" at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. On Thursday, Ed Laukes, vice president for marketing communications and motorsports with Toyota Auto Sales, said the manufacturer's "focus was on the three drivers remaining in the Chase" - #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #15-Clint Bowyer. "As far as the Waltrip organization goes, absolutely nothing's changed with us," Laukes said. "We're not going to really talk about it - we're just going to focus on exactly where we're at with our three guys. I think, at the end of the day, we have to look at how we support our teams, and what happened in this situation is really between Michael Waltrip Racing and NASCAR. It's unfortunate, but it's part of the sport. There's a long history, long before Toyota got into the sport, of things that happened, and it's really between Michael Waltrip racing and NASCAR. At this point we just have to stay focused on everything that's going on with the three guys and try to get a first Sprint Cup championship for Toyota."(Fox Sports)(9-12-2013)
TRD increases power in some engines: A week after decreasing power in favor of durability, Toyota Racing Development is adjusting engines on some of the six Sprint Cup cars it supplies to recapture speed. Joe Gibbs Racing's #11-Denny Hamlin, who needs to win races to become a Chase contender after missing four races with a back injury, in particular will get more power. "Hamlin will be a little more full blown," Jimmy Makar, vice president for race operations at JGR, told ESPN.com on Friday. TRD, which builds engines for JGR and Michael Waltrip Racing, took a more conservative path with its engines at Pocono after blowing two engines the week before at Dover and three in two weeks. MWR will stay with last week's engine package on the cars of #15-Clint Bowyer and #56-Martin Truex Jr., but Mark Martin's #55 will be "all out," according to crew chief Rodney Childers. Makar said JGR will use several packages between #18-Kyle Busch, Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth in an attempt to find the right mix before the Chase.(ESPN)(6-14-2013)
TRD Provides More Power For Michigan: Drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing should have a little more horsepower this weekend at Michigan International Speedway after suffering no issues with their toned-down engines at Pocono, a Toyota Racing Development official told Motor Racing Network on Tuesday. TRD reduced horsepower in its engines at Pocono Raceway after suffering three failures the previous two races. While all those engines made it to the end Sunday, Pocono marked the first time this season that a TRD engine did not place in the top five. Kyle Busch was the top finisher, in sixth place. "We may have been a bit too conservative at Pocono," said David Wilson, TRD's acting president and general manager. "We still need to look at some parts and pieces before we pull the trigger, but we certainly don't anticipate stepping back any further. Our target is to start clawing back one weekend at a time." Wilson said preliminary inspections by TRD officials on the Pocono engines showed no valve train issues, which had been a concern. "Michigan will be another test, but the good news is we continue to make some headway back home in the shop," he said. "Any performance changes are going to be in the right direction."(see full report at Motor Racing Network)(6-12-2013)
Toyota dialing back its Sprint Cup engines for two races: Nearly all of Toyota's Sprint Cup crew chiefs and drivers gathered on leather couches in the back room of the manufacturer's mobile headquarters Friday morning at Pocono Raceway. It was the first meeting chaired by David Wilson since his appointment as acting president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, yet this wasn't a perfunctory get-to-know-you affair. With Toyota's engines failing at an alarming rate, including those in the Camrys of Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last week at Dover International Speedway, the subject matter was serious: How to improve reliability without dialing back performance. Starting with Sunday at Pocono Raceway and continuing next week at Michigan International Speedway, Toyota will be more conservative with its tuning at two superspeedways known for putting heavy stress on engines.(USA Today)(6-8-2013)
TRD's President Lee White to Retire at End of Season UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) President Lee White announced that he has elected to retire at the end of the 2013 race season. Due to family health care needs, White will step down from his daily duties and will vacate the position of president and general manager of TRD, effective immediately. "I have been planning and working toward retirement at the end of this race season in December," he said. "I have been offered and accepted an opportunity to perform a reduced amount of duties from my home office. This generous arrangement afforded to us by the company will allow me to attend to personal family priorities."
White has been with TRD for over 15 years and held responsibility for all TRD activities in North America, including: engine development, manufacturing, chassis design and development, team and manufacturer relationships, manufacturer and sanctioning body relations as well as engineering support for Toyota teams participating in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), United States Auto Club (USAC), National Hot Rod Association, Grand-Am and Off-Road competition.
Prior to joining Toyota in 1997, White began his career in racing with LeeCo Engineering as an owner, driver and engineer. He served as manager and engineer for Read Racing Engines and later became team manager and engineer for Herman Miller Porsche Racing. He has since held positions as general manager and engineer for Roush Racing, Rocketsports Racing and Newman Haas Racing.
Throughout his career, White has participated in programs totaling approximately 1000 individual race victories and 250 championships. He is also a private, instrument-rated pilot, aircraft tuner and holder of two U.S. National and World F.I.A. speed records. "Lee has contributed enormously to Toyota Motorsports in his 1 5 years with TRD. His leadership has resulted in victories and championships in a broad spectrum of racing series." said Toyota Group Vice President and General Manager Bill Fay. "He's had an impressive career and his day-to-day leadership will be missed. We offer Lee and Lynn our support and best wishes."
White will continue as a Special Advisor to TRD and Toyota Motorsports until his planned retirement at the end of the season. Assignment of his duties will be determined shortly.(Toyota Racing)(6-4-2013)
UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) announced that Senior Vice President David Wilson, is named acting president & general manager of TRD effective immediately. In this role, David will be responsible for all of TRD's day-to-day operations and activities. These include engineering, manufacturing, engine build and supply chain management. Wilson also will continue in his role as SVP for TRD's administration, finance and facilities department.(TRD)(6-6-2013)
TRD focuses on durability of parts: Toyota Racing Development will introduce upgraded engine parts and make adjustments in power for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway to ensure durability moving forward. TRD had engine failures in the cars of contending drivers Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last weekend at Dover International Speedway. That brought their total for the season to six, two more than the Ford engines and four more than the Chevrolet engines. TRD senior vice president David Wilson told ESPN.com on Tuesday that four of the failures -- including both at Dover and one the previous week at Charlotte -- were related to the valve train. "We probably pushed a little too hard and we need to put margin back into our engines," Wilson said by phone from TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. "What we're doing and focusing on is durability. I have the entire group at TRD putting performance stuff on the backburner and focusing on nothing but durability."(full story at ESPN.com)(6-5-2013)
TRD Racing SVP Talks Engine Trouble: David Wilson, Senior Vice President of Toyota Racing Development, joined co-host Danielle Trotta on tonight's edition of NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED to talk about the recent engine trouble hampering Toyota's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams. He talked about some of the early season difficulties and how the manufacturer, working with the teams, is remedying the situation. Here is what Wilson had to say...
Danielle Trotta: You've described the problems that we've seen in the first two races as an emotionally charged issue, what has the past few weeks been like for you and TRD?
David Wilson: Certainly, the last thing you want to do is start off the season by digging a hole for any of your drivers. It's our responsibility to give them enough trouble-free weekends and build that confidence back up. I feel the most for Kyle (Busch) because purely by circumstance, purely by misfortune, he's suffered the most amongst all of our drivers in the past couple of years. We likely cost him (Kyle) a shot in The Chase last year. We all know how well he ran during those last 10 races, and we've all done the math there. First a foremost, is to first 'man up' and take responsibility, and try and give them the confidence that we are going to get this sorted, and we are going to put them in position to win races, which we know our equipment is capable of.
Trotta: When you experience problems like this in the first two weeks of the season, I know you are already at the track; do you increase personnel at the track or back in California in any way, when you're going through something like this?
Wilson: Absolutely, it's a great question. We typically do (have more people) at Daytona anyway because it is our Super Bowl. Coming there, with the new 'Gen 6' Toyota Camry, it is all hands on deck, so we staffed up specifically for that. Given the fact that we did have some issues at Daytona, we did bring out a couple more engineers, a couple more technicians, which was made a lot easier because we are out here on the West Coast. We have plenty of hands and plenty of resources at the race tracks to handle these issues as they come up.
Trotta: Moving forward to Vegas, you've said that you've got enough performance, but what (you) don't have enough of is margin and safety. That's where your focus is. Could you explain more about that?
Wilson: As we take our engines to the race track, one of the most important things that we do in developing those engines, is making sure that they do have the reliability and the durability because clearly, if we're not seeing failures here at the shop, but we're seeing them at the race track, then we're not pushing the engines hard enough. Based on what we saw at Phoenix, our engine configuration heading to Vegas is essentially the same as we ran this past weekend. We're quite comfortable that we'll not just have some good performances, but good reliability for all of the Toyota teams in Vegas.(SPEED)(3-5-2013)
Windows 8 App Allows TRD to Set the Pace: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) worked with Microsoft Corp. to design a touch-enabled app for Windows 8 as the centerpiece of a new strategy to improve the performance of the Toyota teams competing in NASCAR. When drivers, crew chiefs and team engineers expressed the need for a more mobile computing platform to monitor real-time performance data, TRD answered with the Windows 8 Trackside app running on Surface Pro hardware.
During practice, drivers and crew chiefs previously had to record racing performance data with software on a laptop, or even with pencil and paper, requiring drivers to get out of their race cars to view information about the car's performance, as well as to explain what was happening on the track.
"Microsoft is excited to work with TRD to design and architect a mobile platform on Windows 8 for Toyota's NASCAR race teams," said Jason Campbell, group product marketing manager at Microsoft. "The Trackside app for Windows 8 on Surface Pro allows Toyota teams to spend more time driving and less time in the garage reviewing performance data, with a touch-based mobile tablet that can go from portable note taker to a high-performance monitor in less time than it takes to change even one tire."
Now with the Windows 8 Trackside app and Surface Pro, the race team can efficiently capture performance data through the touch-based app and share it with the crew in real time, enabling mechanics to immediately get to work fine-tuning the race car for enhanced performance. Trackside also offers touch-enabled data that gives the crew chief and driver insight and analysis on timing and scoring data versus competitors, allowing a team to determine if the right adjustments have been made to the car or what adjustments may need to be made.
"Trackside running on Surface Pro means more time is spent on the track and less time is spent talking," said Steve Wickham, TRD's vice president of chassis operations. "Teams are back on the track faster, allowing them more time to determine the optimum setup for the race car. Our mission is to take advantage of the latest innovation in technology to quickly get better data - which translates into faster cars on the track."
Since 2007, TRD has been developing racing software on the Windows platform for teams to analyze and improve performance, enabling Toyota race teams to be frequent visitors to victory lane and annually compete for series championships. TRD differentiates itself within the hypercompetitive racing business through technology innovation. Today, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard is one of the first Toyota teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to use the new Trackside solution.
"For Toyota teams to finish first on the track, we must also be the first to innovate our technologies behind the scenes," said Darren Jones, group lead for software development at TRD. "We chose Windows 8 because we get enterprise-ready security and management, the familiarity of the Windows development environment, and a fully capable touch-enabled interface."
When it came to choosing a device, TRD wanted a high-performance, lightweight, touch-enabled computer to complement the fast-paced environment at the race track. Several tablets were tested during the pilot phase, but Surface Pro was ultimately chosen because it delivered the power and performance of a laptop PC in a tablet package, as well as the hardware benefits of its unique Touch Covers and durable VaporMg chassis to protect the tablet from hazardous track environments. Surface Pro allows drivers and crew to use the device as a tablet or laptop, and its excellent screen visibility in outdoor lighting is essential when working at the race track.
"Working together with TRD and Microsoft, RAB Racing tested the Windows 8 Trackside app at the end of last season and found it to be an extremely useful tool for our organization," said Robbie Benton, owner, RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. "This year with a rookie driver Alex Bowman, we need to get him as much time as possible on the race track to make sure we prepare good race cars for him. The Trackside app will help us accomplish both of those goals, and help our race team be better."
More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.(more info at microsoft.com.(2-25-2013)
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:00pm/et