Hermann Gassner Jr wins inaugural TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy
Hermann Gassner Jr is the first winner of the new-for-2018 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy, having beaten competition from TOYOTA GT86 racing and rally drivers in the fight for points and prizes.
Hermann, who teamed up with co-driver Ursula Mayrhofer in a GT86 CS-R3 rally car, recorded the maximum of 10 results during the Trophy’s inaugural season which ran from January 1 to November 30, collecting a total of 368 points.
The 30-year-old German had a highly successful season. As well as winning the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy, Hermann also earned the two-wheel-drive title in the German Rally Championship on the penultimate round and his GT86 CS-R3 was the best 2WD car on Rally Deutschland, a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
“We did not have the best start to the season but we never gave up,” said Hermann Gassner Jr. “Over the summer we showed very good form and fully exploited the GT86 CS-R3’s potential. This was the basis for winning the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy and the German 2WD rally title. But for us, the highlight of the season was certainly the class win at the WRC Rally Deutschland. All in all, it was a great year in the GT86 CS-R3.”
Runner-ups in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy are Belgian circuit racers “Brody” and Jacques Derenne who shared a GT86 CS-Cup in the Nürburgring 24 Hours and VLN series while their team-mate Olivier Muytjens came fourth overall. The fact that fifth-placed driver Alex Fielenbach drove a GT86 CS-V3, the predecessor to the CS-Cup, showed how the Trophy concept was successful.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy aimed at giving all three types of TOYOTA GT86 racing and rally cars produced by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) a chance to compete against each other. GT86 customers could score points in motorsport events across Europe, effectively in any series in which their cars were suitable. Points were allocated based on results, the size of the grid and the level of competition.
In its first season, 19 drivers from seven different countries entered the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy supported by Ravenol, BRM Chronographes and PFC Brakes. Together, they submitted a total of 93 results which included 15 class wins. The Trophy participants took part in various rallies and rallies across Europe including the Nürburgring 24 Hours, VLN, RCN, DRM, WRC Rally Deutschland, the Dutch DRNT and rallies in Austria and Slovenia.
Hermann Gassner Jr’s Trophy title tastes all the sweeter as he will receive a total prize money of €35,000 and a brand-new TOYOTA C-HR contributed by Toyota Germany. “Brody” and Jacques Derenne will share equally the second and third placed prizes of €25,000 and €20,000.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy will continue in 2019 in the same format, giving owners of the three TMG-prepared vehicles, the CS-R3 rally car plus the CS-Cup and CS-V3 circuit racers, another chance for fight for the title. As in its debut season, the participants can enter cost free and will benefit from attractive prize money.
Florian von Hasselbach, Senior Engineer Customer Motorsport: “First of all we would like to thank all drivers and partners for their great support. All of you have made the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy a huge success in its first year. We saw very good racing and close fights on the circuits and rally stages. To have all three GT86 versions in the first places shows that the concept of the Trophy works. We are very happy with the first season and, just like our customers, we keep pushing to make things even better in the future.”
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Trophy 2018 – Final standings
|1st||Hermann Gassner Jr. (Ger)||GT86 CS-R3||368 points|
|2nd||“Brody” (Bel)||GT86 CS-Cup||273 points|
|Jacques Derenne (Bel)||GT86 CS-Cup||273 points|
|4th||Olivier Muytjens (Bel)||GT86 CS-Cup||263 points|
|5th||Alex Fielenbach (Ger)||GT86 CS-V3||226 points|
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About TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH:
TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has been based in Cologne, Germany since 1979 and built its reputation in motorsport, beginning with two decades of FIA World Rally Championship success. TMG’s facilities and capabilities expanded significantly during its time in Formula 1 (2002-2009). Since the end of that era, TMG has combined works motorsport participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship with research and development support for TOYOTA Motor Corporation and a thriving business as a supplier of high-performance services to the automotive and motorsport sectors. Additionally, TMG has built a growing customer motorsport business covering activities in rally and circuit racing, with all activities inspired by TMG’s vision of Creating Excitement Through Team Spirit and Advanced Technology. www.racingbytmg.com