This year, for the third leg of the Five Continents Driving Project, Toyota employees will be divided into three teams to complete approximately 20,000 kilometers in total distance. By crossing the borders of seven countries, and through experiencing the diverse cultures and climates, the team will take on a variety of severe driving conditions of the continent, including muddy roads in the tropics, mountainous roads at an altitude of over 4000 meters, and highways affected by strong crosswinds. The vehicles participating will also be driven across dunes and wadis (dried-up streams), which are located along the driving course of the Dakar Rally. The Dakar Rally has been regarded as one of the world’s most severe within the realm of motorsports, and by driving through such harsh conditions, it would help to further hone the abilities of our personnel for the making of ever-better cars.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: “By taking on the steering wheel on their own, the participants will be able to interact with, and gain on-site experiences from driving on a variety of roads, and what they feel and think will be the insights for making ever-better cars. This Latin American leg is where the participating vehicles and drivers will encounter many challenges in the different countries, not just from the varying road conditions, but also, that they will face changes in temperatures and altitudes. I expect that the team members will be able to hone their intuition through overcoming such various difficult situations.”
Toyota positions motorsports as a crucial means of conveying the dreams and the excitement which automobiles are able to provide. By conducting related activities under the umbrella of Toyota GAZOO Racing, Toyota is making consistent efforts to develop its people, improve its products, and encourage a greater following of car fans and enthusiasts.
Since 2007, as part of Toyota GAZOO Racing, Toyota employees have competed in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, an endurance race that is held annually in Germany. It is at Nürburgring that as cars are placed under extreme situations, Toyota has been able to train its employees. In April 2015, Toyota consolidated all of its motorsport activities under Toyota GAZOO Racing in the hopes of inheriting Toyota’s foundational philosophy of human development through motorsport.
For Toyota GAZOO Racing, the Five Continents Driving Project is directed toward the development of personnel―one of the important pillars in motorsports. Toyota will continue the project, in tandem with 340,000 global Toyota employees, to strive towards the united goal of making customers smile through the making of ever-better cars. The year 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic Games will be held, has been identified as the target year for the completion of the projects.
Article source: http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/13090055