450 bhp, 2,090 cc turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99.4 in.
Japanese manufacturer Toyota and Dan Gurney's All American Racers (AAR) teamed up in the 1980s to take on the GT class of the popular IMSA sports car championship. AAR initially fielded a production based Celica in the GTU class for engines of under two-litre and from 1985 used a similar car powered by a larger engine in the GTO (over two-litre) class. Halfway through 1986, these were replaced by a purpose-built GTO car inspired by the recently introduced Celica Turbo All-Trac. Designed and built at AAR's facility in California, the Celica Turbo GTO featured a chromoly tubular spaceframe with all-round independent suspension. Toyota supplied the latest generation four-cylinder turbo engine, equipped with twin overhead camshafts and twin-spark injection. It displaced 2,090 cc, which meant it was classified as a three-litre taking the 1.4x equivalency in account. In the trim used by AAR, the '4T-GTE' was good for 450 bhp. It was connected to a Hewland transaxle gearbox through a novel carbon-fibre driveshaft. While some panels like the roof and doors had to be retained to keep the Celica silhouette, the rest of body was crafted in lightweight carbon-fibre composites. The basic design was created using wind-tunnel testing but the final shape gradually evolved during the Celica GTO's first season. Compared to the earlier AAR Celicas, the purpose-built machine was noticeably wider to clear the fatter tyres used The rules did not allow for separate wings to be used, so the necessary downforce was generated by an integrated rear spoiler and, front and rear diffusers. Ready in time for round 5 of the 1986 championship at Riverside, the AAR-built Toyota Celica Turbo GTO made an inconspicuous debut as it caught fire in one of the practice sessions. This was most likely caused by the hot exhaust that exited immediately behind the left front wheel. At the following outings, teething reliability problems prevented the cars to convert the potential in victories. The streak finally ended at the Road America 500 Miles, where Dennis Aase and Ricky Moran finished third overall and first in class. Later in the year, Aase also won the GTO race at Watkins Glen outright. Following the impressive finale to the 1986 season, the AAR/Toyota team started 1987 as joint favourites with Roush Racing, who fielded V8-engined Ford Mustangs. Poor reliability still proved a problem in the season opening long distance races, although Chris Cord and Steve Millen did manage to finish second in class at Daytona. Cord bounced back at Riverside, winning the GT race outright. He won again at Laguna Seca, Portland and Del Mar, while his team-mate Willy T. Ribbs took victories at Mid-Ohio, Road Atlanta and Summit Point. Cord was crowned driver's championship and the team won the manufacturers crown. Rule changes ahead of the 1988 season included a tighter air restrictor for turbo engines and a weight penalty of 100 lbs for turbo cars. This prompted Gurney to reserve almost all his efforts on the GTP car that had already been commissioned by Toyota, and would become one of the most successful racing cars of all time. The Celicas were nevertheless raced, and a further five victories were scored in 1988. Considering the limited resources used that season, the results were very impressive but not quite enough to keep the Roush Racing team and their new, turbo-charged Ford Merkurs from the championships. From 1989 all of AAR's and Toyota's attention was focused on the prototype Toyota-Eagle and the Celicas were not raced again. Although raced for the better part of three season, usually with a two-car effort, AAR only built three examples of the tube-frame Toyota Celica Turbo GTO. At least one of these was sold to a private collector while Toyota North America also retains a car that has recently been restored to full running order by the same people that had built it two decades earlier.
There are no setups for this car.
This car has been used in 2 sessions.