ROOKIE Racing Co., Ltd. (ROOKIE Racing) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced their competition in the IDEMITSU 1500 SUPER ENDURANCE 2022 (Thailand 25H Endurance Race) at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand from December 17 to 18, 2022, with the ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 concept, a hydrogen engine vehicle, and the ORC ROOKIE GR86 CNF Concept, a carbon-neutral (CN) fuel vehicle. The participation will not be for the entire 25-hours but will be for the first and last few hours of the race. This will be the first time for both vehicles to compete in a race outside of Japan. In addition, one of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team Thailand’s vehicles is also scheduled to run on CN fuel. Starting with our participation in the Thailand 25H Endurance Race, we strive to increase CN options in Asia, through motorsports.
ROOKIE Racing and Toyota participated in the Super Taikyu series in Japan midway through the 2021 season with a hydrogen-powered Corolla and accelerated efforts of “producing,” “transporting,” and “using” hydrogen together with like-minded partners inside and outside the industry in the interest of helping to achieve a CN society. From the 2022 season, in addition to the hydrogen engine Corolla, we are racing the CN fuel GR86 and continuing to approach the challenge of expanding fuel options using internal combustion engines.
In addition, during the ninth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Ypres in August and the 13th round of the WRC Rally Japan in November, we ran a demonstration of the GR Yaris H2 hydrogen engine vehicle under test development to show European and Japanese rally fans the potential of hydrogen as an option for achieving CN.
The Chang International Circuit venue is a major international circuit in Thailand and hosts the Thailand MotoGP, the world’s most prestigious motorcycle race. Since its opening in 2014, Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. has been the circuit’s main sponsor and has promoted the development of motorsports in Thailand by holding one-make races there. ROOKIE Racing won the 10-hour IDEMITSU 600 SUPER ENDURANCE 2019, its first entry in a race held at the circuit. In this race, our first entry in three years, we will train our car in an environment different from Japan to accelerate efforts to expand fuel options toward creating a CN society.