POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2002) - Toyota, in conjunction with Team e-moola/ Alan Johnson Racing, became the first import manufacturer to enter the NHRA POWERade top fuel ranks when the team's Celica Funny Car debuted today at Pomona...
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2002) - Toyota, in conjunction with Team e-moola/ Alan Johnson Racing, became the first import manufacturer to enter the NHRA POWERade top fuel ranks when the team's Celica Funny Car debuted today at Pomona Raceway.
Gary Scelzi, a three time NHRA Top Fuel Dragster champion, will pilot the red and white entry sponsored by White Cap, a leading specialty construction supplier.
"Toyota is excited and proud to have one of the sport's most recognized drivers and teams represent the Celica Top Fuel Funny Car in the POWERade series," said Jim Aust, VP of Motorsports and President/CEO of Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. "It's a great opportunity for Toyota to showcase the sleek and stylish Celica to the enthusiastic NHRA fans. We also look forward to growing the technical relationship we have established between TRD and Alan Johnson's highly professional team."
The Celica Funny Car was developed using the production Celica GT-S as the baseline. The project, which began in the fall of 2001, was developed in conjunction with Swift Engineering, Inc., in San Clemente, Calif. The Celica Funny Car will make its first competitive run at the 42"` Annual K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb 7-10, at historic Pomona Raceway-
"To win in this sport, you need all the right pieces to the puzzle - and we have that with Toyota," said Scelzi, who will make his Top Fuel Funny Car debut this weekend. "They've had great success in CART and other forms of racing, because they do things right. We`re excited to be working with them in drag racing."
The e-moola/Alan Johnson team will expand their effort to two Celica Funny Cars, with veteran Bruce Sarver behind the wheel of the second car, at the event in Phoenix, Az., Feb. 21-24.
Toyota's 2002 drag racing program will also include TRD engine support for two vehicles in the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series. Christian Rado will campaign a 750-hp Celica in the Modified class, while Craig Paisley will race a 900-hp Tundra in the Pro Import class.