Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has two facilities on opposite coasts. The Engine Engineering & Manufacturing site is located in So Cal, where 180 team members design, develop and build racing engines under one roof. They have the ability to do a clean-sheet design of any racing engine possible. That was a necessity because twelve years ago when Toyota got into this circus, the company did not manufacture a pushrod-style eight-cylinder engine for any of their cars that could be adapted to NASCAR racing use. The result of that effort is a 358-cubic inch mission-critical V8 that puts out between 600 and 700 horsepower depending on a particular racetrack.
They have specialized chassis development tools at the TRD Chassis and Team Support facility in North Carolina, with 50 team members from Charlotte who travel on the road with the race teams to help them with trackside adjustments. Wilson explained, “The rationale in doing that started with our entry into the sport, which 10-15 years ago was rather polarizing. Many people didn’t believe Toyota was fully committed. Part of what we wanted to do was demonstrate our commitment by hiring engineers from the local racing community. Using this approach, which was very much like an act of social responsibility, we were able to show the manner in which we wanted to participate in this sport.”