Following Toyota’s tremendous and historic win at the 2018 Le Mans, I couldn’t help but wonder, “what’s a Gazoo?” For the uninitiated or unfamiliar, the official name of Toyota Motorsport’s racing team at Le Mans is Toyota Gazoo Racing. While I had initially assumed TGR was a factory-backed team, named Gazoo, presumably after its owner, it became increasingly clear that TGR was, in fact, a factory works team, and my curiosity piqued. It turns out that “gazoo” has a bit of history with the marque, originating from the Japanese word “gazo,” which means “picture” or “image,” to put it simply. Nearly 20 years ago, Toyota took steps to restructure parts of its brand, including a new online system of selling used cars. This website was called gazoo.com, based around an english-spelling phonetic variant of the word.
Over time, “gazoo” took on a second meaning. As a site consisting of pictures of lots of cars, it was a “garage” of sorts, and with that, a bit of a colloquialism was born. And now you have it… It’s Toyota Garage Racing, but with a double meaning representing the “image” of Toyota. A fun, quirky name, explained. So, with that, sit back and enjoy the roots of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Rally Team: 52 minutes of incredible visuals, technology, and racing spirit.