Toyota Enters Vintage Endurance Competition With First-Generation Corolla

Great Race 2016 - Jamie Bestwick Prepares for Race 4 photos
Photo: Toyota
Great Race 2016 - Jamie Bestwick Prepares for RaceGreat Race 2016 - Jamie Bestwick Prepares for RaceGreat Race 2016 - Jamie Bestwick Prepares for Race
Toyota has announced it will enter a first-generation 1970 Corolla sedan in the Great Race, a long-distance endurance competition held in the USA.
The Great Race starts in San Rafael, Northern California, and ends in Moline, Illinois, and Toyota is in its first-ever entry in the collector-car endurance rally.

Mind you, this is no Gumball or Le Mans, but a regularity challenge which focuses on scenic routes instead of interstate highways.

The first ever Great Race was held in 1916, and Toyota believes its entry in the event captures the “Let's Go Places” philosophy adopted by the brand.

Over 130 cars have entered the competition, and teams will have to follow strict navigation instructions they receive at the beginning of each day.

Each checkpoint arrival is timed, just like in regular rally competitions, but there will be no breathtaking speeds here, but other kinds of challenges.

Crews will have to pass through the historic Lincoln Highway, through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa, among others. The winning unit will receive a "large eagle trophy" along with a check for $50,000.

Toyota's entry will be driven by Jamie Bestwick, an X Games Athlete that has won the Gold Medal 3 times in BMX Vert. Bestwick is also a Score Baja 1000 veteran, and will drive in a period-correct racing uniform as an homage to the brand's motorsport heritage. Furthermore, the Corolla is accurate to the original 1970 specification, as a testament to its capabilities and reliability, one of the core values of the Toyota brand.

Along the way, the team will have various guest navigators, which will experience the special event. The main co-driver is Laurence Foster, but his place will be taken by off-road racing champion BJ Baldwin, snowboarders Elena Hight, Amy Purdy, and Louie Vito. Professional BMX rider Drew Bezanson will also help with pace notes, as well as motocross racer Andy Bell, motorcycle racer and designer Roland Sands, and musician Mike Eldred.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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