Toyota UAE’s Motorsport Programme Returns

After a successful inaugural season watched by millions of viewers on Shahid, the Arab world’s biggest streaming platform, the Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy returns in 2024 for season 2 of the driver development programme pioneered by Al-Futtaim Toyota. The second season aims to deliver more high-octane action, intense competition, and racing thrills for its competitors and online viewers.

This year, the aptly re-badged Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy will see the contestants take to the track at the state-of-the-art Karting Town in Sharjah for a series of kart racing qualifiers, followed by thrilling Autocross and Time Attack sessions in the Toyota GR Supra that will demand exceptional driving skill and precision.

Commenting on the initiative, Saad Abdullah, General Manager – Marketing, Toyota Lexus for Al-Futtaim Automotive, said: “Following an amazing event last year, we are extremely excited to announce the return of the successful Al-Futtaim Toyota motorsport initiative – now named Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy. For this year’s exciting programme, the Academy will be shifting gears from off-road racing to on-track Autocross and Time Attack stages featuring the Toyota GR Supra. Leveraging the considerable expertise of our newly formed Al-Futtaim Motorsport Division and external consultants in the motorsport industry, we have developed Season 2 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy to serve as a platform to develop skilled drivers, thereby reinforcing our commitment to motorsport excellence in the region. Guided by the philosophy that “the road shapes the driver as well as the vehicle,” this pioneering initiative offers automotive enthusiasts across the UAE a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to etch their name into the records of motorsport history. Once again, the Academy further reinforces what Toyota has stood for over the years: dependable performance and the ability to push the limits on what machine and man can do together.”

The Gazoo Racing Academy Programme

The 2024 season of the Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy will take place across four gruelling stages, in which the physical prowess, driving skills, media finesse, and mental acuity of the competitors will be tested, promising not just glory on the track but a lasting impact on the motorsports landscape both in the United Arab Emirates and globally.

Following the registrations, contestants will participate in Auditions on a first-come, first-served basis to determine their suitability for the qualification stages. Candidates will be assessed based on a combination of competitive kart racing to determine driving prowess and an interview to assess media skills.

The applicants will then be assessed, and 48 successful candidates will be shortlisted for the Qualifications and Development stages, where the field will be whittled down to just 4 competitors for the Finals stage and the ultimate battle to be crowned the Toyota Gazoo Racing Ambassador for 2024.

Throughout the Academy’s stages, candidates can expect to be tested on the following:

  • Media: Shine in the media spotlight as they showcase their charisma and passion for racing.
  • Focus, Physical, & Mental Training: Demonstrate commitment and mental fortitude through focused training exercises.
  • Racing: Take to the track to prove their mettle in high-stakes racing challenges.

Globally, Toyota has an illustrious motorsport history spanning five decades of successful participation in the World Rally Championship, Formula One, FIA Cross Country World Cup and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From the championship-winning Toyota Yaris GR WRC to the multiple Le Mans-winning Toyota Gazoo Racing Hybrid LMP cars, Toyota vehicles have championed the spirit of motorsport at the highest level, both on and off the road.

Round 2 of the Toyota Gazoo Racing UAE Academy continues this proud tradition by offering the UAE’s motorsport community a chance to hone their skills and become serious contenders within the arena. In 2023, the Toyota Motorsport Academy featured four stages of off-road action in the mighty Toyota Land Cruiser GR.

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