Race Car Roundup: Toyota Headed to Germany, Maserati to Spain, and Audi Kicks It Old School

By Jacob Brown | May 16, 2012
The picture you're looking at with the Audi was taken on flat land. The Aud R8 LMS above was riding a track with an incredible 60-degree banked corner. Now that we have your attention with that tidbit, here's your unusually present update of race cars simply too awesome to ignore. We're saving the Audi for last just so you have to read through everything else, though. It's not like you should mind; Toyota, Maserati, and Audi are all up to some pretty cool stuff.
Toyota's news comes as perhaps the most profound and prolific, fielding a team of cars this weekend for the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race in Germany. Toyota's Gazoo Racing will field two Toyota GT86 coupes—what we know in the U.S. as the 2013 Scion FR-S—and a Lexus LFA. Toyota Swiss Racing Team will enter two additional GT86s under its own devices and at a much lower budget level. Along with LeMans, Daytona, and several other premier races, the Nurburgring 24 Hours has become one of the most elite races in the world, now celebrating its 40th year. The only difference is that it covers a 13-mile track and allows more than 200 cars to enter each year. Lexus, for its part, raced the LFA when it was still a prototype, fully competitive, but strictly for evaluation to make it a better sports car. Talk about racetrack to showroom.
Slightly less exciting, yet still plenty noteworthy, the 2012 Maserati Trofeo MC World Series kicks off this weekend in at the Jarama circuit in Spain. Unlike that heathen race in Germany at the Nurburgring, this one's only open to gentlemen of discerning tastes ans sizable bank accounts. Twenty-five teams representing 12 countries will be driving the newly improved 2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo through the U.S., China, and Spain over the course of the summer and fall. Surprisingly, while they'll be driving in the U.S. at Infineon in September, none of the teams hail from this land of liberty. Oh well...
But while we're on the topic of Spain and Germany, we'll close this one out with a video of a Spaniard driving in Spain in a German car. Carlos Sainz was perhaps one of the world's best rally car drivers during his 18-year professional career. In a video in which we understand hardly a word, he drives Redbull's Audi R8 LMS race car around Spain's abandoned Autodromo Terramar race track, a complex constructed for international racing in the 1920s but abandoned due to financial turmoil. Yet, due to its integrity, it's withstood the test of time, allowing Sainz and touring car driver Miguel Molina the chance to drive on the relic. We're not going to spoil it for you, but even if you can't understand a lick of Spanish, the video is well worth your time.

Sources: Toyota, Maserati, Redbull via YouTube