A Toyota GR Corolla will serve as the official pace car for the 2023 NASA National Championships, the manufacturer announced.
A GR Corolla MORIZO Edition, wearing red, white, and black graphics reminiscent of Toyota motorsports and endurance racing liveries, will be leading the pack at the 2023 National Championships, Sept. 7-10, 2023, at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
The NASA National Championships features NASA race drivers from 14 regions across the United States, including the NASA championship finals, the sanctioning body said. The GR Corolla will pace more than 350 entrants competing in 25 classes at the 2.78-mile, 19-turn, natural-terrain road course.
“At Toyota we have a passion for motorsports so it’s an honor to support racing enthusiasts by pacing all NASA Championship races,” said Mike Tripp, vice president Toyota Vehicle Marketing and Communications. “For three years running we’ve put a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing model in the pace car spot and we’re thrilled to keep playing our part in the race to find the next group of NASA champions.”
The 2023 GR Corolla features a turbocharged, three-cylinder engine delivering 300 h.p. and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, with the MORIZO Edition bumping the torque figure to 295 lb.-ft. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to Toyota’s rally developed GR-Four AWD system, which gives drivers a choice of 60-40, 50-50 or 30-70 power distribution to the front and rear wheels, Toyota said. Drivers can also select from four drive modes, ECO, Normal, Sport, or Custom.
The GR Corolla MORIZO Edition also benefits from special enhancements by GR engineers, Toyota said, like an exclusive close ratio iMT with shorter gearing, increased chassis rigidity, and an increase in nearly 20 lb.-ft. of torque (295 lb.-ft.). It also subtracts nearly 100 pounds of weight as compared to the GR Corolla Circuit Edition model, by removing the rear seat and other components.