Camry, Prius and Avalon Leave the Competition in the Dust in Legendary Road Rally
PLANO, Texas (May 18, 2018) – Smart money probably wouldn’t have been on a Camry vs a Corvette in the 2018 Tire Rack One Lap of America Saturday, May 5-12. However, by the end of the eight-day, 3,675-mile test of man and machine, three teams of Toyota engineers collected trophies for first and second place in the alternate fuel class; third place in the economy class; and third place in the mid-priced sedan class. The Camry’s overall standings in the field of more than 70 cars placed them ahead of several Corvettes, Camaros and BMWs.
Just finishing the race is an achievement. “We push our cars to their limit all day on the track and then hope they hang together for another 6-10 hours of transit driving,” said TMMK Stamping Engineer Steven Byington. “You eat every meal at a fast food drive thru, you’re averaging 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night and you do it with a smile on your face because you have a passion for driving.”
That passion was on display throughout the week as the teams from Toyota’s plants in Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana demonstrated, in real time, the performance of the 2018 Camry, the 2017 Prius and the 2013 Avalon that all finished “in the money” ahead of vehicles that are much more familiar race platforms.
This is the Kentucky team’s fourth year in the One Lap, but only their second time on the podium. It was a first for the Indiana and West Virginia teams and they both brought home Hardware. “We’re really grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this event,” said TMMI engineering assistant manager James Nichols. “It was a great experience for our team, and I think we did a lot to convince people that the Camry and the Prius are more than just commuter cars.”
The three teams operate under a loose affiliation know as Toyota Engineering Motorsports. Their philosophy is that lessons learned on the racetrack in vehicle safety, performance, problem solving and teamwork make them better engineers and better engineers make better cars.
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