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?

What will change and what will remain

——Could you tell us specifically what STMO’s aims are in running Super Taikyu?

Driven by the idea of “making ever-better cars through motorsports,” Morizo has used Super Taikyu as a platform for taking on various challenges. What changes will his new role bring to the series?

In response to the question, Morizo outlined the Super Taikyu culture that he wants to preserve and the initiatives he hopes to trial moving forward.

Incoming STMO Chairperson Morizo/Akio Toyoda

The beauty of Super Taikyu is that it is a village festival rather than a world fair. At the village festival, the participants take center stage.

When describing Super Taikyu, the keywords are homemade, familiar faces, and open to anyone.

One of its defining features is being flexible and accommodating, which we certainly want to preserve after the shift from STO to STMO.

Kuwayama and the rest of the team that has sustained the series to date will be staying on, which will no doubt give reassurance to participants.

The other aspect is the culture of sharing costs. Being endurance races, each event may have up to four or five drivers instead of one or two, and the participants contribute funds like splitting a bill.

We will keep working to maintain a degree of flexibility and ensure there are no situations in which someone who has a car ready is unable to compete on the day.

We will preserve these two features, but in terms of the changes, Kuwayama had long set her sights on Asia.

In Asia, we have Fuji, and then from there, it is onto Nürburgring. With both being 24-hour races, as well as having similar car categories, I believe we can create a route linking Asia, Japan, and then Europe.

Another issue is that those involved in noisy, exhaust-emitting motorsports have been rather removed from carbon neutrality efforts and feel uneasy.

Now, however, many like-minded people are coming together and using this racing platform to drive the agile development of hydrogen engines and other technologies right before our eyes. I believe such efforts will help shape Japan’s future.

Teaming up with other Japanese races

——Does this mean STMO will get along nicely with Super GT going forward? (Laughs)

It goes without saying that press conferences are media-oriented events. Yet the hand that went up at the back of the venue belonged to Masaaki Bandoh, chairman of the GT Association (GTA), the organization that oversees Super GT, a racing series that draws more spectators than any other in Japan.

The room erupted in laughter at this unexpected question from a fellow race organizer. “I’ll field this one,” Morizo responded, highlighting the camaraderie of the motorsport industry for those present.

Incoming STMO Chairperson Morizo/Akio Toyoda

Japan has three racing competitions with “Super” in their name: Super GT, Super Formula, and Super Taikyu. Perhaps they were once the same race, but nowadays, each charts its own path and fulfills its own role.

That said, I think they all have a shared role in firing up Japan’s racing industry.

The first thing I would like to discuss is the possibility of coordinating (race) schedules. From an entrant’s perspective, having back-to-back races is quite tough.

In fact, to ensure we have a good balance of locations and categories for spectators, GTA’s Mr. Bandoh, myself, and Masahiko Kondo of Super Formula will be sitting down to dinner together sometime soon.

We’ll start by showing the close friendship between the three of us as we work together to make motorsport thrive. We will make it a thrilling sport and one that is more accessible for athletes. That’s what I see as our mission.

I look forward to working with you, Mr. Bandoh.

“Thank you very much. I look forward to working with you too,” replied Chairman Bandoh, before making sure he had the last word: “But please remember that I have seniority here, and newcomers should know their place (laughs).” Again, the room filled with laughter.