2010 SEMA Show: Toyota Yaris GT-S Club Racer is a little devil

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 2, 2010

The last addition from Toyota’s SEMA booth is the Yaris GT-S Club Racer, a demonstration that a little sub-compact can be transformed into a very capable race car. For those who don’t know, Toyota renamed the car GT-S Club Racer as an homage to the popular GT-S grade Celica’s of the 1980’s and 90’s (seen in the photo gallery).

Designed by SportsCar magazine, the car features Molly Designs inspired graphics, a new Seibon carbon fiber hood and hatchback, AeroCatch hood pins, Racing Lifestyle fender flares, I/O Port Racing Supplies tow hooks, and Lexan side and rear windows. The design of the car is completed by the three-piece JRW330 13 x 7 Jongbloed Racing wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Special 20.0 x 9.5-13 racing slicks.

The car is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-I. Thanks to some high performance parts such as a K&N air intake, a DC Sports header, and Rebello Racing Engines camshafts and cylinder head, the power of the engine was increased from 106 to 145 @ 7252 rpm.

The engine is mated to a SPEC aluminum flywheel and three-puck clutch, a Kaaz limited slip differential and a 4.312 final drive gear set swapped in from a Scion xB. Furthermore,

Toyota added Carbotech XP-8 brake pads and Goodridge stainless steel brake lines. Inside, the car was prepared for racing and comes with a Sparco Evo 2 FIA race seat and race pedals while Autopower supplied a Pro-Cam six-point harness and window net.

In addition, the car comes with an AiM Sports MXL race data acquisition dash system paired with an AEM Performance Electronics EMS Series 2 ECU.

Press Release

Yaris GT-S Club Racer

The Toyota Yaris is well-known as a value-driven sub-compact car with proven reliability and excellent fuel efficiency. It has also proven in past SEMA shows to be very versatile when it comes to customization. The little sub-compact returns to the 2010 SEMA Show, this time proving it can also be converted into a very capable race car.

To make the Yaris racecar a reality Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. asked SportsCar magazine to convert a 2006 Yaris five-door liftback. The Yaris selected for the project was a veteran of the 2007 SEMA Show, formerly known as the Yaris Club project. Toyota renamed the car the GT-S Club Racer as an homage to the popular GT-S grade Celica’s of the 1980’s and 90’s. SportsCar magazine accepted the challenge and began remaking the Yaris into a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) sanctioned racecar.

SportsCar magazine began the project by shedding nearly 400 pounds off the vehicle’s curb weight by removing several creature comforts like the air conditioning and audio system to tip the scale at less than the 1,900 pound class minimum.

The exterior of the Yaris GT-S Club Racer features a Molly Designs inspired graphics that pays homage to Dan Gurney’s All American Racers-built IMSA GTP Toyota Eagle Racers of the 1990’s. Additional exterior features include a Seibon carbon fiber hood and hatchback, AeroCatch hood pins, Racing Lifestyle fender flares, I/O Port Racing Supplies tow hooks, and Lexan side and rear windows. The Yaris rides on three-piece JRW330 13 x 7 Jongbloed Racing wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Special 20.0 x 9.5-13 racing slicks.

Underneath the hood is a Toyota 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i. SportsCar magazine made several modifications to increase the horsepower from the stock 106 to 145 @ 7252 RPM. Modifications included several bolt-on performance parts including a K&N air intake, a DC Sports header, and Rebello Racing Engines camshafts and cylinder head work to name a few. A Mishimoto radiator and Coast Fabrication Ultra Lightweight racing muffler were also added. The engine is mated to a SPEC aluminum flywheel and three-puck clutch, a Kaaz limited slip differential and a 4.312 final drive gear set swapped in from a Scion xB.

To help slow the car Carbotech XP-8 brake pads and Goodridge stainless steel brake lines were added.

Modifications on the inside included an AiM Sports MXL race data acquisition dash system paired with an AEM Performance Electronics EMS Series 2 ECU, for complete control of the engine and data accumulation. Safety was addressed with a Sparco Evo 2 FIA race seat and race pedals while Autopower supplied a Pro-Cam six-point harness and window net. Additional safety features include an NRG Innovations steering wheel with a quick release hub, a Braille No-Weight battery, Longacre kill switch and mirrors, and an Emergency Suppressions Systems fire system.

Once completed, it was time to race. The Yaris GT-S Club Racer won its very first race, topping the competition at Willow Springs Raceway in Southern California. Driven by SportsCar magazine associate editor Jason Isley, the little racecar went on to win the Southern Pacific H Production Division Championship. Capturing its division qualified the Yaris for the 47th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at the historic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin where it competed in late September. At the championships, it qualified 13th and finished a very respectable 8th out of a field of 26. Competing against older classics, it was the newest car in the field by 19 years!

After the SEMA Show, Toyota and Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, will host the producers of Gran Turismo® 5 at a race track where they will compare their “virtual” racing skills versus their “actual” racing skills by driving the GT-S Club Racer in a time trial format.

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