2008 Toyota Racing – German Grand Prix Feature
By: Toyota USA Blog
The tenth race of the ongoing Nextel Cup Series is set to take place on the 5th May this year at the Richmond International Speedway. This year’s race will be called the “Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400” after the winner of the essay writing contest sponsored by the Crown Royal.
As drivers, engineers and racing personalities gear up for the race, Johnny Benson is also taking preparation in his sixth start this year. Recently, the veteran driver talked about his relationship with present employer Wyler Racing.
Johnny Benson was recently named by the team to drive the no. 46 Toyota Camry at the next race of the season. Benson looked back on how he got the job. “The Wyler’s and (Crew Chief) Tony Furr asked me to do some testing for them at the end of last year and we thought that test went pretty well,” says Benson. “As this year got underway, they were talking about doing some more testing and called to see if I would do it. I said, “Yeah, I’d be glad.” I thought it would be pretty cool to help them test and just to help them out. I like doing that type of stuff,” he continued. After testing, the team apparently liked his performance which led to him being named as the team’s starter. “We went to Richmond earlier this month and the test went very well. I was hoping that if they ever went racing I’d get an opportunity to drive. I told them that they didn’t have any obligation for me to drive it, but that I would love to have the chance. This past week they called and said that we were going to race at Richmond and that I could drive, so I was pretty excited about it. It’s a pretty cool deal,” enthused Benson.
As far as his expectation for the upcoming race and his familiarity with the track, Benson appears to be ready for the race. “I think as a whole Richmond has been a great track for me. I love racing there. I love the type of track it is. I like how the racers approach that track knowing it’s a two groove race track.” Benson also pointed out his love for the track in his recent statement. “You can race anywhere you want,” he says. “You don’t have to beat and bang your way past somebody. It’s just a great race track. And it’s a Saturday night race which is great for the fans and you know the whole atmosphere aspect of it is good. It’s a type of track that I like. It’s a challenging track but it’s also a finesse style race track. I think that falls within my suit. I’ve had a lot of great races there and some that we’ve run really well that don’t have the finishes to prove that based off being caught up in something. But it’s a place that I really enjoy and love to race at.”
The next race will be held in relatively shorter tracks than other speedways. For Benson, this fact is considered as an advantage. “I like racing on all of the tracks that we go too. They all have their own challenges. But I think as most racers – because we grew up on short tracks – we always enjoy racing on them,” says Benson. “We do so many intermediate tracks now that the short tracks are a little more few and far between; maybe not so much in the Truck Series, but in the Cup Series. So I think we all enjoy going back and running the short track races.”
While Benson has had good races in Richmond and he admitted that the track is to his liking, how he performs in the actual race is evident on how he has tested his Camry at the speedway. To his credit, Benson looks set to have a good race after he has completed his test of the track with no sign of problems at all. “I think the communication that I had with Tony Furr at the test in Richmond was excellent,” he said. “We unloaded for the test and were decent right off of the truck,” he added. He also credited his team for the way the test has gone. “As the day went on, I was pretty impressed by Tony and all the guys that work at Wyler Racing. I was impressed when I worked with them at the Homestead test last year and then, of course, at Richmond too. They all work well together and communicate well. Our speeds were good and we were happy with our qualifying efforts and our speeds in race trim.”
While testing good is a positive boost for the team, Benson knows that the actual race will be a different area. “It will be a different deal going back for the race, but I hope we can maintain the type of run that we had at the test,” Benson said. “The opportunity sitting in front of us is a good opportunity to hopefully go there and run well,” he concluded.
With Benson’s driving experience, his familiarity with the track and his admission that the next track they will be racing on is to his liking, there is a positive chance that he will have a good race come May 5. Aside from that, he has a Toyota Camry to drive which is engineered to provide more boost than standard a Toyota Camry equipped with a Toyota cold air intake system.
By: Lauren Woods
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Timo Glock Panasonic Toyota Racing, Driver – Ready-to-air feature
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F1 Season 2009 Panasonic Toyota Racing The Contender
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Questions and Answers
I am a new driver and i have been looking around at cars. My car of preferance would be the Toyota Celica however im not sure if it can be insured to 17 year old because of the sports car label. I have looked at sites such as geico and all state for quotes but this has proven unsucessful. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
By: Jim R
Back in 2005, my little red Celica gave up the ghost. I loved that car, but after 178,000 miles in four years, it was time to get a new vehicle. Since it had been such a great car, I decided to simply get a new one. I walked into the Toyota dealership ready to buy. It was then that my nightmare began. Here’s what I learned:
1) Poor greetings anger the customer. I walked straight into the dealership, dressed nicely, with checkbook in hand. No one greeted me. Several salesmen avoided eye contact. I finally went to the sales manager’s desk (positioned to overlook the whole showroom like a prison guard) and he told me to wait, that someone would be with me in a minute and returned to his phone call. Hello! Show some enthusiasm, salespeople! I’m about to make a major purchase and you don’t seem to give a damn! Was it because I was a woman with no man to help poor little ‘ol me buy a car? Or was it because they didn’t know how to greet anyone? We’ll never know.
2) A lack of product knowledge can kill you. I knew exactly what I wanted – a brand new, red Celica. I was ready to pay cash. I just wanted to see the car. They said they didn’t have any on the lot. I said the 2005 had some features that were different from the 2000 and I wanted to see them. (I had done my homework). They didn’t even have a photograph of the 2005 Celica! When I asked about the wheels (some come with special alloy wheels) the salesman replied, “Well, they’re round.” Now I was really angry.
3) No one likes the hard sell and other tricky sales techniques. Well, I was pretty unhappy with these guys, but I wanted the Celica. Once I’d get angry with the salesman, they’d switch and send in the sales manager. I’d make them an offer and they’d keep me waiting while they went to see if they could get it approved. They were jerking me around and I knew it. My love of the Celica was the only thing keeping me there. Note to car salesmen – we know you are jerking us around and we don’t like it. You are making your customers your enemies. No one likes dealing with you.
4) The Internet changes everything. I escaped with my life (barely). I had to write up a sales order (noncommittal – no $) for them to agree to get the Celica on the lot so I could see it. In the meantime, I visited my Pop in Hilton Head. He got a quote over the Net for $1,000 less with no negotiation! The Internet took all the pain out of it – no switching people, no putting you in tiny rooms with finance guys. I decided I should use the ‘Net myself and got a quote on another car (I was pretty unhappy with Toyota) – the 350Z – one sweet ride if I say so myself. Vincent Elliott, the Internet Sales Manager at Michael Jordan Nissan, responded immediately to my e-mail with a good price on the Z. And he was enthusiastic about my inquiry! Yes, I felt it through his e-mail! I also should tell you some Nissan dealers didn’t even bother to respond to my request (too bad for them). The first time I walked into the dealership, Vincent was there (on his usual day off) with a big smile. I left driving a gorgeous, FireStar red 350Z.
Enthusiasm and honesty sell, tricks and high pressure cost you customers. When will salespeople (and sales managers) learn?
By: Toyota USA Blog
Most of cars that leave the factory are submitted to lots of tests with different setups. But then they go to the market with a setup that must be suitable for most countries, and for the average driver. If you are an experience driver and a car to you is not a means of transport only, then those standard cars are not for you. You can however ask for a more sport setup of load the car with OEM accessories.
Some times that is not enough and then car tuning can be the way to go. Car tuning is the process of modifying and enhancing a vehicle’s performance and style through engine, suspension, wheels and body modifications. It is both an industry and a hobby.
Tuning began not long after the invention and mass production of the automobile, with the Ford T. People that love cars and are passionate by the tuning life style, feel the need to modify their vehicle to be unique, go faster and safer to drive.
The new Toyota Venza underwent a unique transformation by Street Image resulting in the creation of the SportLux Venza performance show car. The Venza SportLux was displayed at the Toyota exhibit throughout the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
Street Image added an assortment of subtle, yet aggressive, body kit modifications including a six-piece lip kit enhancement, rear hatch spoiler, custom grille and integrated hood scoop. Its performance driven stance reflects the Toyota SportLux Venza’s substantial boost in power output. Among its many performance modifications are several components from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) including a supercharger kit. The SportLux Venza’s power surge is complemented with a height adjustable coil over tuned suspension and rides on Chrome Cognac No 20 Wheels measuring 24-inches and Toyo Proxy 4 performance tires.
The world loves automobiles. This love affair is dramatically showcased in the number of different customization (tuning) styles found around the globe today. Understanding the different styles available, as well as which cars can benefit from the various styles is important to maximizing your ability to customize your ride.
German Formula One racing driver, Ralf Schumacher said that Toyota’s recent more rigid form has convinced him that the team can be much more competitive in the near future.
The Toyota Team racer had a misery beginning to the year. He is struggling to set up the car to his liking and lagging far behind his team-mate, Jarno Trulli.
Rumors dispersed that Schumacher was on the edge of losing his drive as he repeatedly failed to get past the first qualifying cut-off. But in the last two races, he has bounced back, qualifying a season-best sixth at Silverstone and out-pacing Trulli the entire weekend.
He felt that Toyota had made its point despite of the fact that he retired early in the grand prix.
Schumacher said that their team obviously has the potential to turn it around because they have good people and the right facilities. In his certainty, he added that they just need to do the job. He also said that everyone is pushing hard so he quite optimistic for their completion.
He also said that a double retirement at Silverstone is clearly not satisfactory but the positive element was the sixth place in qualifying, which representative and he claims that he had good lap times while he was still in the race.
Schumacher admitted that the Toyota Team is still not consistent.
He boasts that their car is very competitive under certain circumstances. He sited the instance in Barcelona and they looked good in terms of pace in Magny-Cours too. He admitted that they had problems so they did not get their aspired results.
He added that he has become increasingly comfortable with his set-up and the whole team is working hard as they chase a successful second half of the year.
Schumacher believes that after this week’s test at Spa, the Belgian track might be one of the venues that brings out their Team’s strengths.
According to him, the car performed well overall so they can look forward to the race there with confidence. He continued that they were quick in Silverstone and the Belgian track has similar characteristics with a lot of high speed corners so he anticipates that it should suit them when they get there in September.
Toyota Motor Corporation is the world’s leading automaker. Maker of quality Toyota headers, the car company has held its reputation as an excellent manufacturer since its first year of existence. Other than that, Toyota has claimed to be one of the best race teams in Formula 1.
I’m looking for a second hand 8 seat toyota previa.
However I really want one with two rear passenger doors (one on each side) for ease of getting a large family in and out, during school runs etc.
I know the older models only have a rear door on the drivers side and the newer ones have rear doors on both sides.
But can anyone help me by telling me the exact year that the cars started to be made with doors on both sides?
Prototype presented in the Geneva Car Show (March, 9th, 2007) Toyotausablog.com