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The automotive aftermarket and motorsports have a lot in common, so it’s no surprise to see both celebrated together at venues like the Tokyo Auto Salon. On hand to cover the latest tuning trends from Japan, AutoGuide decided a closer look at the numerous race cars on display, from Formula cars to custom machines and plenty of hardware from the world famous Super GT series.
See below for extensive galleries on some of the most jaw-droppingly amazing race cars:
Toyota’s motorsports partner Gazoo Racing had several machines to show off at the Tokyo Auto Salon, but none as impressive as this Lexus LFA. Prepped for race duty, the car has already seen competition, with an automotive CEO behind the wheel no less.
Akio Toyoda? Nope. Try Dr. Ulrich Bez, the man in charge of Aston Martin and a long time racer.
How exactly the CEO of a competing automaker wound up behind the wheel of the Lexus supercar is the result of a friendship that has grown between Dr. Bez and Mr. Toyoda – a friendship that started when the two shared garage space at the Nurbrgring 24 Hour endurance race a few years back.
The two automakers have volunteered to share space ever since and this past year even shared cars, with Bez getting behind the wheel of the LFA, while Akio Toyoda had the opportunity to pilot Aston Martin’s Zagato V12 race car.
GALLERY: Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA
For the third straight year in a row Lexus will compete at the Nurburgring 24 Hour race, once again using one of its LFA supercars. And much like the past two years, the team will be operated by Gazoo Racing, which fields Lexus race cars in Japan’s Super GT series.
There’s no word from Lexus yet on what class the LFA will run in but judging from the pictures it seems like a more track-focused model than the past pre-production models. Lexus also isn’t messing around when it comes to racing talent, fielding a team of six Japanese and German drivers with some very impressive resumes. Included among them are six-time Super Taikyu Endurance Series champion Takayuki Kinoshita, 2002 JGTC GT500 winner Akira Iida and 2008 Nürburgring 24 Hour second place finisher Jochen Krumbach.
This year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour races takes place from May 13 to 16th and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Lexus’ efforts.
News of this new Nürburgring racer comes just a day after rumors of a Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition surfaced.
GALLERY: Lexus LFA Nürburgring Racer
Official release after the jump: