Once the racing engineers at Toyota Gazoo had built the Yaris GRMN they envisaged that people would want to take them on the track, but they didn’t expect it to happen like this...
February 2018, Silverstone; a truly unique event affectionately known as the “The Pom” or the Pomeroy Trophy, run by the Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) in the UK since 1952.
The event with the only strict requirement that cars are road legal, pits cars of all eras against each other. A unique series of calculations are made to ensure that all cars are judged equally to compete.
For more than fifty years the men and women that organise The Pom have awarded the accolade to the winner of the best touring car, or the all-rounder in modern parlance.
So, for Toyota Great Britain to decide to enter a pair of super-charged super-minis, namely two New Yaris GRMNs, to pit against everything from multi-million pound classic Aston Martins to pre-war hand-built racers may seem a little bizarre.
But there was a method in their perceived madness...
Once you see the passion generated by the Gazoo Racing Team, matched with Toyota’s performance arm, that is all about their love of cars and obsession for improvement and engineering; this is summed up perfectly in “The Pom”.
How did our Hot Hatches do?
During the day, competitors took part in acceleration, handling and braking tests. Evaluating practicality every car carried two standardised VSCC-size suitcases throughout. A high-speed Regularity Time Trial followed – a spectacular sight of pre and post-war cars driving on the Silverstone circuit together.
Organisers were clear that “this is not a race”, although some spirited driving ensued. Entries included sub-£200 cars bought specifically for the event which often “beat” exotic cars costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, made achievable by the judging criteria of The Pom. The one thing agreed by all the competitors is that it’s not really about the win, it’s more about the day. The complex mathematical theory governing the judging is a closely guarded VSCC secret.
As it turned out the team did really well, placing second in their class. Most pleasing was the attention the GRMN cars attracted, with owners and competitors from pre-war Bentleys to modern BMW M3s coming to visit our super mini Hot Hatch Yaris GRMN’s.