I recently had a trip over to the PMW show in Germany and whulst over there went see Toyota Motorsport in Cologne and Hyundai Motorsport near Frankfurt. Read on to see how impressed I was with both facilities.
Toyota Motorsport was originally setup in Cologne in 1979 and was known as TTE and was led by Ove Andersson to many rally victories.
In 1998 they entered their first Le Mans race, the following year finishing 2nd having a pole position and fastest lap under their belts.
In the early 2000's until 2009 they entered the F1 Championship ending with 13 podiums, 3 pole positions and 3 fastest laps.
November 2009 TMG began a new era as a high-performance centre for design, development and production, catering primarily for the automotive and motorsport industries as well as their own LMP1 programme.
The facilities are impressive and are located close to the city of Cologne, they have their own cafe and gym and over 25 nationalities working on site. Race Teams from around the world also use these facilities including their in house wind tunnel.
It's difficult to believe that Hyundai Motorsport only started in December 2012.
Located in the outskirts of the very pretty town of Alzenau, 30 mins from Frankfurt in a good sized factory which is th ebase for all of Hyundai's motorsport activities. Currently this is focussed on WRC and they have just narrowly missed out on 2nd place in the 2015 constructors championship - an impressive feat for the newcomers taking on the establishment.
In the future there Hyundai will be competing in other high profile race championships that are yet to be announced but if their WRC results are anything to go by they certainly mean business.
The facility has a friendly feel and, much like Toyota, they have 26 nationalities working on site. The main language spoken is English as with most motorsport environments and they are already looking to expand the facility after the last huge workshop is now dedicated to building customer rally cars.
Russell, 17th November 2015