Toyota will enter two of its new GT86 sports cars in this year’s 40th running of the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. The new coupes will join an identically liveried Lexus LFA to form a three car team for the race, from May 17th to 20th 2012.

The cars will be run by the GAZOO Racing team, which has competed at the Nürburgring 24 Hours since 2007. Takayuki Kinoshita, Akira Iida and Juichi Wakisaka will drive the Gazoo Racing LFA, whilst Masahiko Kageyama, Hisami Sato, Yoshinobu Katsumata, Hiroaki Ishiura, Kazuya Oshima, Takuto Iguchi and Minoru Takaki will drive the GT86s.

A unique element about the Gazoo Racing team is the fact it uses the Toyota’s in-house personnel as mechanics, to transfer knowledge between race and road car development, as well as encourage employee motivation. The team is also running an employee driver development programme this year.

Toyota and GAZOO are seeking to broaden the appeal of motor sport and foster more car enthusiasts, to reach a new generation of car buyers around the world. In doing so, they’ve borrowed BMW’s strap line and are promoting the “joy of cars”.

The slogan “I Love Cars!” will be used for GAZOO activities to encourage car enthusiasts to connect with each other through motor sport activities at various events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed from (29 June to 1 July), where they will join other Toyota motorsport cars such as the BTCC Avensis of Frank Wrathall and famous historic Toyota rally cars such as the Celica GT4 and Corolla WRC.