Toyota has unveiled its new race car for the 2022 NHRA season in Funny Car competition, the automaker announced. For the first time, Toyota will campaign the GR Supra beginning with the season kickoff event in Pomona in February.
Toyota has competed with the Camry in Funny Car competition dating back to 2012. Prior to the Camry, the Toyota Celica and Toyota Solara were run. The 2021 season has marked the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s official involvement in NHRA with competitors in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.
Toyota’s commitment to race vehicles that closely resemble production vehicles continues with this GR Supra, the company said. With the new body on the Funny Car for 2022, it marks the most significant styling characteristics of any previous Funny Car.
“After 10 years of fielding the Camry in NHRA Funny Car competition, it’s really exciting for us to be moving to the GR Supra and ultimately the next generation of Funny Cars for NHRA,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports for Toyota Motor North America. “Our team at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) along with the design team at Calty worked hard to incorporate as many features from the production GR Supra into the Funny Car that J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will drive in 2022.”
In addition to the augmented styling characteristics of the new GR Supra Funny Car, safety enhancements have also been made during the development of the new car, the company said. These include giving the driver more visibility while sitting behind the wheel and adding more room around their helmets along with additional safety foam in the driver’s cockpit of the GR Supra. TRD worked closely with Toyota Champion Funny Car driver, J.R. Todd, on many of the safety enhancements during the nearly two-year development process.
“It’s been a really unique experience getting to work with the engineers at TRD on the new GR Supra Funny Car,” said Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car driver J.R. Todd. “To be a part of the work to try to make these cars as safe as possible for us as drivers means a lot to me. We all worked together on some of the issues we’ve faced for some time including visibility. That said, I’ve had some big moments in my DHL Toyota Camry including my first U.S. Nationals win and championship. Toyota’s support of NHRA, Kalitta Motorsports and myself specifically means a ton, and I hope we can deliver even more success to them with this new GR Supra.”