Toyota at SEMA
4th November, 2010
The Toyota Yaris is well-known as a value-driven
sub-compact car with proven reliability and excellent fuel efficiency. It has also proven in past SEMA
shows to be very versatile when it comes to customisation. The little sub-compact returns to the 2010
SEMA Show, this time proving it can also be converted into a very capable race car.
To make the Yaris racecar a reality Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. asked SportsCar magazine
to convert a 2006 Yaris five-door liftback. The Yaris selected for the project was a veteran of the 2007
SEMA Show, formerly known as the Yaris Club project. Toyota renamed the car the GT-S Club Racer as
homage to the popular GT-S grade Celica’s of the 1980’s and 90’s. SportsCar magazine accepted the
challenge and began remaking the Yaris into a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) sanctioned racecar.
SportsCar magazine began the project by shedding nearly 400 pounds off the vehicle’s curb
weight by removing several creature comforts like the air conditioning and audio system to tip the scale
at less than the 1,900 pound class minimum.
The exterior of the Yaris GT-S Club Racer features a Molly Designs inspired graphics that pays homage
to Dan Gurney’s All American Racers-built IMSA GTP Toyota Eagle Racers of the 1990’s. Additional exterior
features include a Seibon carbon fibre bonnet and hatchback, AeroCatch bonnet pins, Racing Lifestyle
wheel-arch flares, I/O Port Racing Supplies tow hooks, and Lexan side and rear windows. The Yaris rides
on three-piece JRW330 13 x 7 Jongbloed Racing wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Special 20.0
x 9.5-13 racing slicks.
Underneath the bonnet is a Toyota 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with VVT-i. SportsCar magazine
made several modifications to increase the horsepower from the stock 106 to 145 @ 7,252 RPM.
Modifications included several bolt-on performance parts including a K&N air intake, a DC Sports header,
and Rebello Racing Engines camshafts and cylinder head work to name a few. A Mishimoto radiator and Coast
Fabrication Ultra Lightweight racing muffler were also added. The engine is matched to a SPEC aluminium
flywheel and three-puck clutch, a Kaaz limited slip differential and a 4.312 final drive gear set swapped
in from a Scion xB.
To help slow the car Carbotech XP-8 brake pads and Goodridge stainless steel brake lines were added.
Modifications on the inside included an AiM Sports MXL race data acquisition dash system paired with
an AEM Performance Electronics EMS Series 2 ECU, for complete control of the engine and data accumulation.
Safety was addressed with a Sparco Evo 2 FIA race seat and race pedals while Autopower supplied a Pro-Cam
six-point harness and window net. Additional safety features include an NRG Innovations steering wheel
with a quick release hub, a Braille No-Weight battery, Longacre kill switch and mirrors, and an Emergency
Suppressions Systems fire system.
Once completed, it was time to race. The Yaris GT-S Club Racer won its very first race, topping the
competition at Willow Springs Raceway in southern California. Driven by SportsCar magazine associate
editor Jason Isley, the little racecar went on to win the Southern Pacific H Production Division
Championship. Capturing its division qualified the Yaris for the 47th SCCA National Championship Runoffs
at the historic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin where it competed in late September. At
the championships, it qualified 13th and finished a very respectable 8th out of a field of 26. Competing
against older classics, it was the newest car in the field by 19 years!
Yaris GT-S Club Racer Features
Molly Designs inspired graphics
Seibon carbon fibre bonnet and hatchback
AeroCatch bonnet pins
Racing Lifestyle wheel-arch flares
I/O Port Racing Supplies tow hooks
Lexan side and rear windows
Goodyear Eagle Sports Car Special 20.0x9.5-13 Racing Slick
Jongbloed Racing Wheels three-piece JRW330 13x7
AiM Sports MXL race data acquisition dash system
Sparco Evo 2 FIA race seat
Sparco race pedals
NRG Innovations steering wheel with quick release hub
Autopower Pro-Cam 6-point harness
Autopower window net
Braille No-Weight battery
Longacre kill switch
Emergency Suppression Systems fire system
AST Suspension – USA custom 5100 series dampers
Eibach ERS springs 550 lbs front/650 lbs rear
Whiteline adjustable rear swaybar
Carbotech XP-8 pads
Goodridge stainless steel brake lines
Toyota 1NZ-FE 1.5 litre with VVT-i 145 hp @ 7,252 rpm
Rebello Racing Engines camshafts and cylinder head work
AEM Electronics EMS Series 2
AEM Electronics UEGO wideband O2
MP Tuning custom harness
Church Automotive Testing tune
Okada Projects USA Plasma Direct Coils
K&N Air Intake
DC Sports header
Coast Fabrication Ultra Lightweight Racing Muffler
Pure Power 10W-20 racing oil
Pure Power Lifetime Oil Filter
SPEC aluminium flywheel and three-puck clutch
Kaaz limited slip differential
Scion xB final drive swap (4.312)