Akio to Chair Super Taikyu's New Organizing Body


The racing series will be run by the newly launched Super Taikyu Mirai Organization, chaired by none other than Morizo, aka Akio Toyoda. What is the new body's vision for Super Taikyu's future?

Morizo: “Car lovers will come together to create the future”

Finding himself in the spotlight, Morizo took up the microphone. He talked about the circumstances that led him to accept CEO Kuwayama’s proposal, as well as the structure of the new organization and the idea behind its name.

Incoming STMO Chairperson Morizo/Akio Toyoda

Japan has three racing competitions with “Super” in their name: Super GT, Super Formula, and Super Taikyu. As mentioned, the person who established Super Taikyu was its previous CEO, Mitsuru Kuwayama.

I have heard that Mitsuru created the Super Taikyu concept based on two key ideas.

One is that of inclusive, grassroots races whose expenses are shared by participants. The other is to help advance the auto industry through development.

As we have heard, Harumi Kuwayama took over the series in 2013 with a great sense of purpose and has since carefully safeguarded Mitsuru’s vision.

When the topic of carbon neutrality emerged in 2020, we discussed the idea of using Super Taikyu as a platform for driving the development of hydrogen engines. When I approached Harumi, she immediately resolved to create the new ST-Q class.

I believe that her swift decision was backed by a dedication to the auto industry, inherited from Mitsuru.

Kuwayama also spoke about making up her mind to seek my help, and indeed we did have a conversation like the one she described.

I asked whether she had discussed the matter with anyone else, and she told me no, only me. I replied, “Well, if that’s the case, yes.”

I felt that taking on the job by myself would allow me to focus on the task and make it easier to act.

Kuwayama took over the Super Taikyu that her husband started and has managed to keep it going.

She told me, “I want it to continue being a platform for honing technologies and helping to solve social issues. And, of course, I want to make it even more fun for the entrants who have been enjoying Super Taikyu. But this will be difficult to do without strengthening the organization.”

After hearing her honest concerns, I spoke with others at Toyota about how we could address them, and one of the ideas was to take up the task with a coalition of OEMs (automobile manufacturers).

However, what came into my mind then was the difference between the Motor Show and Auto Salon.

Of the two, Super Taikyu is like Auto Salon. Rather than the OEMs being front and center, these races are put together by all of the industry’s 5.5 million people.

I felt that the most important thing was to retain the framework that opens participation to a diverse group of people, from car lovers and driving enthusiasts to tuners, mechanics, and engineers.

I shared these ideas with many different people, seeing who was eager to get on board.

All these companies you can see (listed on the backboard) raised their hands, and that’s how we got here today.

Kuwayama also told me she hoped to expand this grassroots racing beyond Japan to the world, especially across Asia.

Last year, I visited the Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand and experienced the passion of Asia’s car fans firsthand.

Morizo at the GR Festival 2023, a motorsports event held in Bangkok, Thailand, last December.

Alongside the possibility of organizing Super Taikyu overseas, I have also raised the idea of turning Japan’s Super Taikyu into a racing series that car lovers from around Asia want to take part in.

For this new chapter in Super Taikyu, the organizing body will be renamed Super Taikyu Mirai Organization to reflect the fact that we are working together to create a new future (mirai in Japanese).

With the “M” from Mirai, the STO acronym will become STMO. Together, we hope to energize Japan’s auto industry and build a brighter, more exciting future for the motorsports industry.

This “M” also carries our respect for Mitsuru, the pioneer who built this tremendous platform for the auto industry.

If we have these races, I believe car lovers of all stripes will come together as one to create the future. On behalf of STMO, we look forward to your support.