Toyota’s GR Cup Series Goes High-Tech with Polygon Blockchain Digital Trophies
In a groundbreaking move to revolutionize the driver experience and deepen connections with fans, Toyota Connected North America (TCNA), a subsidiary of Toyota, has announced its collaboration with the Polygon blockchain to introduce personalized digital trophies for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Cup (GR Cup) Series. The use of blockchain technology will provide drivers with a permanent and non-fungible record of their achievements after each race weekend, enhancing engagement and creating unique opportunities for race fans and partners.
The GR Cup Series, sanctioned through SRO, is currently in its inaugural season and offers drivers and teams the chance to compete at some of the most iconic racing venues in North America. Featuring the Toyota GR86, the single-make series comprises a total of 14 races, including double-headers at prestigious tracks such as Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Virginia International Raceway, Road America, Sebring International Raceway, and the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The innovative digital trophy program, powered by Polygon blockchain, brings a new dimension to the driver experience. These trophies will showcase detailed driver statistics, podium finishes, finishing positions, and lap times, all neatly packaged and shareable. Each trophy will update automatically after every race weekend, allowing drivers to quickly and easily access their accomplishments throughout the season.
Jack Irving, the executive commercial director of TRD (Toyota Racing Development), expressed excitement about the implementation of blockchain technology in the GR Cup Series, stating, “With the GR Cup Series, we see an opportunity to introduce technologies that will enhance the experience for our drivers and allow them to better engage with racing fans. Blockchain helps us keep a permanent digital record of drivers’ achievements that they can share with their friends, family, and fans. It also allows us to develop new opportunities to introduce race fans to our partners.”
TCNA technical program manager Tim Muttitt emphasized the significance of blockchain technology in providing a more authentic and transparent experience for drivers, saying, “We wanted to push the boundaries of what the driver experience means with the GR Cup Series, and the digital trophy program allows us to do that. Blockchain technology allows us to do that and keep it authentic, with the GR Cup Series designed to focus on the talent behind the wheel. We’re enabling greater visibility to the drivers through this unique technology.”
Furthermore, the integration of blockchain technology provides a permanent source of truth for driver performance, creating a non-fungible record that can be shared with fans, friends, and family. As the drivers gear up for this weekend’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, they can conveniently access their accomplishments from the first three GR Cup weekends at Sonoma Raceway, Circuit of the Americas (COTA), and Virginia International Raceway.
Toyota’s commitment to advancing sustainable and next-generation mobility is further highlighted by the company’s previous ventures into blockchain technology. In 2022, Toyota Motor Corporation began a trial operation of its Digital Transformation (DX) platform called “Proof Chain of Evidence (PCE),” utilizing blockchain for intellectual property management. Additionally, Toyota Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm under Toyota Motor Corporation, invested in Nori, a blockchain-based marketplace for carbon dioxide removal, as part of their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
The GR Cup’s embrace of blockchain technology is a significant milestone in the world of motorsports, setting a precedent for other racing events to follow suit. As the season unfolds, the digital trophies will continue to reinforce the strong connection between drivers and their fans, enhancing the overall racing experience for everyone involved.
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