This Toyota Hilux Is The Best Factory-Backed Race Car You’ll See This Year

This Toyota Hilux Is The Best Factory-Backed Race Car You’ll See This Year

It seems that if it has wheels, Toyota will race it. Not too long ago we brought you the remarkably exciting spectacle of Prius one-make racing. That was from Toyota’s South Korean arm, but its Thai division has just one-upped it with this, the Gazoo Racing Toyota Hilux Champ.

The Hilux Champ, in case you missed it, is a vehicle of the sort that doesn’t really exist in much of the world: an extremely utilitarian, stripped-back pickup truck – and we mean extremely utilitarian. It’s based on the chassis of the regular Hilux but is designed to be as modular, easy to repair and simple to run as possible. That’s why most of its surfaces, including the glass, are basically flat.

According to what seems to be a dedicated Hilux Champ fan site (something CT may well become…), it costs the equivalent of around £10,350, and is only sold in Thailand and Indonesia.

All of this leads us to Thailand’s Super Pickup race series, which is exactly what it sounds like – a touring car-style championship for pickup trucks. It tends to be contested by the kinds of pickup we also get in Europe – stuff like the Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and regular, non-Champ Hilux.

Gazoo Racing Thailand, though, clearly saw an opportunity to demonstrate one of the talents of the characterful little Champ by taking it racing. It’s hard to come by too much info on the racing version, but one source we’ve seen suggests that, in keeping with the rest of the Super Pickup field, it uses the Champ’s diesel engine option – a 2.4-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder.

Gazoo Racing Toyota Hilux Champ

Gazoo Racing Toyota Hilux Champ

The Gazoo Racing Champ has just been in action at Super Pickup’s visit to the Bangsaen Street Circuit in the coastal city of Chonburi. It’s hard to track down conclusive results of how it did, but the boxy little hero makes for a remarkable sight as it tears up the twisty circuit.

If you want to see it in action again, the Super Pickup series gets live-streamed on YouTube. Meanwhile, we’re left wondering what Gazoo Racing will turn its attention to next – the Lexus LM?

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