Shrinked-down Toyota GR Supra roadster helps young drivers get started in drag racing

Shrinked-down Toyota GR Supra roadster helps young drivers get started in drag racing

The Toyota GR Supra Funny Car has always looked a little, well, funny. But shrink it down to about half its regular size, as Gazoo Racing has done for its latest drag racer, and it looks so weird it’s almost cute again. That’s as good as it gets, because the GR Supra Junior Roadster is meant to introduce young drivers to the sport of drag racing.

NHRA already has a junior dragster series that has been around since 1992. The series races at more than 130 tracks across the country in cars that resemble pint-sized Top Fuel dragsters. Many pro NHRA drivers have used it as a stepping stone to the big leagues. Along with the Mini GR Supra, Toyota is working on a junior roadster class that will be even more accessible to beginners.

One of the ways the Supra Junior Roadster lowers the entry bar is its size. It has a very short wheelbase compared to a junior dragster car, and TRD USA’s engineers made sure it could fit in the Tundra’s bed. This should make commuting to and from events easier as teams will no longer need an additional trailer for the race car.

Toyota will unveil its 11,000-horsepower, full-size GR Supra NHRA racer in November 2021 to replace its Camry-bodied car. It immediately clinched the 2022 Funny Car title, with Ron Capps clinching the championship in his NAPA Auto Parts blue-and-yellow liveried GR Supra.

“The GR Supra delivered an impressively innovative body style to the Funny Car ranks last year, and it’s a chance for our young competitors in the junior dragster ranks to match their favorite racers,” said NHRA President Glenn Cromwell.

Prospective drivers can purchase a Supra Junior Roadster at Half Scale Dragsters. Many different parts can also be found there, from ballast bars to complete engines of various types. Toyota has been working on the junior roadster class for two years, and hopes other manufacturers will join the nascent series to promote the next generation of racers.

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