Toyota’s got a long, celebrated history in motorsports. And that includes drag racing, particularly the NHRA, where it’s been involved for the last 20 years. In fact, last November Toyota introduced its latest generation Supra Funny Car that’ll be campaigned by J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria during the 2022 NHRA season.

Toyota was the first Japanese automaker to compete in motorsports, entering a race-prepped Toyopet Crown Deluxe in the Round Australia Rally in 1957. It performed admirably, notching 47th overall out of a field of 86 vehicles. That was good enough for third place among foreign car entrants. (Image/Toyota UK)

But keen-eyed race fans will notice the “GR” acronym on these new cars. And if you click on over to Toyota’s website, you’ll see it there too, typically placed alongside Toyota’s performance oriented offerings.

The GR stands for Gazoo Racing, and it’s Toyota’s in-house motorsports wing. (You may also see the acronym extended to “TGR” for Toyota Gazoo Racing.) Whatever alphabet soup you choose, the division is tasked with developing Toyota’s factory race cars and is the driving force behind some of Toyota’s biggest motorsports victories.

Gazoo Racing got Toyota its first LeMans win in 2018—on its way to winning LeMans again in 2019, 2020, and 2021. (Image/Toyota)

And that’s no understatement. While Gazoo Racing (and its earlier iteration Team Gazoo) only began a little over a decade ago, it has come out of the gate swinging, taking wins at LeMans, the World Rally Championship, and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Many gearheads will note that Toyota already has an in-house racing arm, Toyota Racing Development (TRD). While we’re still not sure how the two will coexist in the future, for now it seems they’re both playing nice together.

If we’re opining out loud here, given TRD’s strong connection to off-roading, it might be that TRD begins to slant more towards the truck/SUV segment. Or perhaps TRD becomes the performance parts line, and GR is assigned solely to production model trim/spec levels? But those are just guesses here.

Toyota Gazoo Racing also prepped a concept Supra for racing in the international GT4 class. (Image/Toyota)

Toyota has recently started incorporating the “GR” name into its regular production lineup as well, with sports cars like the GR86 and GR Supra. So it makes sense that Toyota wants to sear the Gazoo Racing name into the public lexicon.

…And slapping the GR acronym on the sides of a rip snortin’ NHRA funny car is a good way to do it.

The GR name is also creeping onto Toyota’s showroom offerings, like this 2022 GR86 sports car. (Image/Toyota)

And with the kickoff of the 2022 NHRA season now underway at the NHRA WinterNationals in Pomona California, you can finally see the new Gazoo Racing Toyota Supra Funny Car in official drag racing action.

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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in an old Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.