Sunday, May 19, 2024

Team JAOS hopes to rebound in second Baja 1000

Team JAOSBaja 1000 début in 2022 ended after 100 miles, but they will be back to try to complete the rest in November as Tomonori Noto once again pilots the Lexus LX600.

JAOS arrived in SCORE International after enjoying success in the Asia Cross Country Rally, crossing the Pacific to compete in America in 2021. The team, the racing division of SUV parts maker Japan Australia Offroad Service, raced with the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux before switching to Toyota’s subsidiary brand Lexus.

At the Baja 1000, electrical problems triggered the fail-safe in the car, causing it to automatically kill the engine’s function. The team was unable to restart the issue and withdrew.

The Lexus was one of two entries in the Stock Full class for production SUVs. The other entry was a Land Cruiser fielded by Canguro Racing, who completed the race while working with JAOS as a technical partner.

“There were no problems at all in the domestic test, but it stopped at the actual pace which is completely different in speed,” said JAOS principal Daijiro Akahoshi. “This is the toughest part of the competition.

“In 2022, we were only able to run about 10% of the race distance. This year, our goal is to finish the race.”

One of the upgrades made to the vehicle for 2023 is switching to a wider tyre, going from an outer diameter of 35 inches (89 cm) to 37 (94 cm). The team uses the Open Country R/T tyre from Toyo Tire, who has worked with them since 2020 while Noto is an ambassador for the Open Country line; R/T refers to “rugged terrain”, compared to the “M/T” for mud and “A/T” for all terrain.

“Monster machines that placed high in the overall rankings have super large diameter tyres such as 40 inches,” Akahoshi explained. “We will be running behind them, so we have to overcome the ruts dug by the 40-inch tyres.”

The 2023 LX600 was displayed at the Gunma Parts Show in Takasaki, Japan, on 7–9 July. Baja 1000 race week runs on 13–18 November.