Sports

Driving innovation for “ever-better cars”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is on a quest to overcome the limits of the road. Find out how they’re developing new technological solutions at the speed of a world-class rally team.

Throughout the 14 races of the World Rally Championships, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally team (TGR) faces some of the sport’s toughest stages and challenges. With road conditions ranging from deserts to snow-topped mountains, TGR’s teams of drivers, co-drivers, engineers, and mechanics must work in perfect lock-step to bring the fastest car possible to every rally and record the quickest times. Now, after winning the manufactures championship in 2018, the team is working to uphold their reputation.

Driving 100mph+ over some of the toughest terrain in motorsports, there’s no time for anything less than perfection. With 150 people spread across teams in Finland, Japan, and beyond, Toyota Gazoo racing turned to Microsoft to help keep their essential work on track and their teams functioning at the highest levels.

A rally car drives on an outside track.

Beyond the course

Rally cars face nature’s toughest elements. This means that engineering must meet the highest levels of precision—and TGR teams must collaborate with efficiency and accuracy to make this tall order a reality.

Leveraging Microsoft technology, TGR is reinventing how a world rally team operates. At the center of this collaboration is Microsoft’s Azure DevOps, which the team uses to track new ideas through their entire life cycle from design to production to testing—and finally into the Rally itself. Used across every team at TGR, Azure DevOps has become an essential tool—a unified solution that has changed the team’s culture while boosting rally performance.

It was quite cool to see the car brought to life digitally, as it gave me a new perspective of the rally car and showed me angles that I don’t typically see when the car is in front of me.

Leenu Sepa, Marketing Assistant, Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team

Making a splash

Essential for protecting a rally car’s delicate engine while crossing puddles, streams, and rivers, the water splash valve is a crucial piece of engineering with a real effect on performance. When TGR noticed an issue with their design during Rally Argentina, the team used Azure DevOps to manage the entire process of designing, building, and testing a replacement.

As soon as the issue was diagnosed, Azure DevOps kept the entire project on track even as it moved across an array of teams and experts. Using the tool’s integrated comment feature, TGR members were able to ask questions, add comments, and assign tasks while working at rally-worthy speeds. By adding transparency to the process, experts could instantly see what tasks still needed to be completed and who was assigned to do them. Despite the project’s immense complexity, TGR was able to design, test, and implement a new part in time for the team’s next rally (about 11 days between races).

Racing into the future

Using Microsoft’s full suite of technology, TGR has streamlined a number of processes, helping the team react nimbly and efficiently to new challenges.

A man uses a tool on the computer during work.
A man controls a virtual car through a virtual track with the help of AR glasses.
A person changes a task to complete on Microsoft Teams.
Dynamics

With Microsoft Dynamics as their Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) solution, the team is able to use a single tool to facilitate their parts inventory management as well as finance and human resources needs.

HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens has helped the team create an immersive experience that gave fans the chance to actually race a holographic version of the TGR car across the turns and jumps of some of their favorite courses.

Teams

As the team prepares for each rally, they leverage Microsoft Teams so that all members are working off of the correct documentation and communicating to the relevant personnel.

Together, Microsoft’s solutions have allowed TGR to work effectively and focus on what they do best—winning rallies. With the full team always looking towards their next rally, their partnership with Microsoft ensures TGR will be ready for any challenges around the corner.