The Camry has been retired.
Toyota recently unveiled its new race car for the 2022 NHRA season in the Funny Car competition.
This is the first time the GR Supra has made its debut as a Funny Car, and will participate at its first event in Pomona in February 2022. The GR Supra replaces the well-known Camry, which has competed in Funny Car since 2012. Before that, it was the Celica, and before that, the Solara. Toyota's new choice makes complete sense, given that both the old and current generation Supras are a favorite in the drag world.
Why didn't the Supra debut sooner, considering it's the performance car in Toyota's range? Well, 2021 marks Toyota's 20th anniversary competing in the NHRA in the Top Fuel and Funny Car series. Considering the Camry competed for the longest, it was only fitting that it remained the top choice for 2021. During the 20 years, Toyota drivers won 137 Top Fuel and 43 Funny Car races and six Top Fuel and three Funny Car championships.
"After ten years of fielding the Camry in NHRA Funny Car competition, it's really exciting for us to be moving to the GR Supra and ultimately the next generation of Funny Cars for NHRA," said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports for Toyota Motor North America. "Our team at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) along with the design team at Calty worked hard to incorporate as many features from the production GR Supra into the Funny Car that J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will drive in 2022."
While designing the car to resemble the GR Supra, the team also used the opportunity to make some improvements. The driver now has more visibility, additional room around the helmet, and more safety foam in the cockpit. J.R. Todd was closely involved while TRD was designing the new car and gave his input on many safety enhancements.
"It's been a unique experience getting to work with the engineers at TRD on the new GR Supra Funny Car," said Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car driver J.R. Todd. "To be a part of the work to try to make these cars as safe as possible for us as drivers means a lot to me. We all worked together on some of the issues we've faced for some time including visibility. That said, I've had some big moments in my DHL Toyota Camry including my first US Nationals win and championship. Toyota's support of NHRA, Kalitta Motorsports and myself specifically means a ton, and I hope we can deliver even more success to them with this new GR Supra."