The Toyota GR Supra GT4 could make its North American race debut in the hands of AIM Vasser Sullivan later this year in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge according to Toyota Racing Development president and general manager David Wilson, who has stated “tremendous” interest in the new GT4 contender.
Set to be gradually rolled out to customers this year, initially in Europe, Wilson said the TMG-built race car is expected to hit North American shores in the third or fourth quarter, allowing teams to prepare for full-season efforts in 2021.
“We’ve got a tremendous amount of interest,” Wilson told Sportscar365. “We’re actually keeping a list of names who are interested in buying them as track day cars and guys that want to race them.
“We’re cautiously optimistic because we understand from our sister company, TMG, that the development is going well. We really believe the Supra will make a good, solid, competitive GT4 car. That’s critical.”
Wilson indicated that the initial cars allocated to North America could go to TRD’s Lexus Racing customer team AVS, which has expressed interest in running Supra GT4s.
“We talked to Ian [Willis, co-owner] about that,” Wilson said.
“We look at GT4 as a couple of different models. One is where a racer buys a car and he takes that racing.
“The other is an organization like AVS buying a couple or three cars and they take them to the track, service them, and take care of the running.
“We’ve talked to Ian about it. He’s definitely interested. He’s just waiting or a little bit more information. We don’t have a parts list or spares pricing, that kind of thing, to be able to put up a proper business model around it.”
Wilson said the company’s existing relationship with the Canadian squad, which returns for its second consecutive season racing Lexus RC F GT3s in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, serves as an easy “start point” for the program.
“If they take it to the next step, we may, just as an exercise, intentionally get one of those cars out on track later this year,” Wilson said.
“The thing that we have to be careful of is that [AVS’] top priority is to compete for a championship in the GTD class and be respectful of the relationship with Lexus.
“Certainly, we don’t want to put [them] in a position to compromise that. That will always be top priority.
“But if we can do that without compromising, that would be a neat way to get our feet wet.”
TRD Planning Dedicated Trackside Support for Supra GT4
Wilson said TRD will be establishing a full customer support program around the Supra GT4 that will not piggyback on the current Lexus GTD effort.
“We’re not going to short-shift the Supra,” he said. “There was the thought that we would just use the same hauler, but that wouldn’t be fair either because that is Lexus.
“Toyota is a different brand and we want to do a good job for both Lexus and Supra without a compromise.
“TRD will be the window for all North American sales, support and after-sales support.
“We’ll process the orders and have on-track support. We’ll have a dedicated hauler to support the customers.
“We’re not limiting ourselves necessarily to IMSA or otherwise. We’re open to all potential areas of competition.”
Toyota is known to also be in discussions with SRO Motorsports America for likely customer entries in Pirelli GT4 America a well.