Motorsports represents an intersection of automobile culture from across the world. It is where the world’s manufacturers—each with their own histories and beginnings in this space—converge in competition. Races unfold as a match of speed, catalyzing further technological prowess and growth in the automobile world.

From the fast-paced world of motorsports to the everyday commute, the car plays a significant role in people's lives around the world. Automobiles have become a ubiquitous mode of transportation, but the way people drive and their attitudes towards cars can vary greatly from country to country, from the love for muscle cars in the United States, to the attention to detail in Japan and Germany’s appreciation for precision engineering.

However, one thing that unites many nations is their love for motorsports, and in particular, the pursuit of victory both on and off the track. A leading nation in motorsports, Britain a prime example of the intersection of national racing spirit. Hosting rounds of the Formula 1 and WRC, Britain is also home to 'Motorsports Valley,' a hub of numerous professional F1 teams. But it’s not just about racing the British love of driving stems from the country's extensive road network, the freedom and independence that driving provides, as well as its the rich history and culture of British motorsports. The British automotive industry continues to thrive: 10 of its major automotive brands founded over a century ago such as Aston Martin are still in operation. It goes down to a grassroots level, too: 16- to 18-year-old students can get a head start in the world of racing with a high-octane course in Mastering Automotive Engineering, which involves stints at the world-famous University of Oxford.

Across the Atlantic, North America’s contribution to motor-racing culture has been just as significant. No track is more hallowed than Florida’s Daytona International Speedway, a celebrated venue of American racing that gave birth to NASCAR in 1948. A few years after its inception, affluent Americans began buying European-made sports cars in the 1950s and began capitalising on the empty Air Force fields, originally built for the Second World War, by creating race tracks to put their vehicles to the test. Even the first use of a pace car in automobile racing was in the US, at the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911. Over 100 years later, you won’t see a race without one.

Big scenery, wide open spaces and long drives on the open road: over the border in South America, a passion for motoring is abundant. With a cultural emphasis on personal freedom and mobility, it’s one of the most popular continents to be discovered behind the wheel. Argentina’s Ruta 40, Chile’s Atacama Desert and the Peruvian coast are just three spectacular driving destinations, but it would be impossible to discuss South America’s passion for motoring without mentioning Brazil’s late Ayrton Senna, an F1 legend and three-time World Champion. Outside of F1, the World Endurance Championship, the Stock Car Brasil Championship and the Brazilian Touring Car Championship attract legions of passionate fans and, in Argentina, a rich motorsports heritage dates back to the 1940s with the famous 1000km Buenos Aires, which attracted top teams and drivers from around the world at its zenith.

In Europe, the passion for motorsports culture runs deeper still. Famous for its small-car production, around 14 million Europeans work in the automotive sector. Famously home to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France has hosted over 61 F1 Grands Prix and 45 WRC rallies. Meanwhile, the German psyche is synonymous with a strong automotive culture and a deep appreciation for precision engineering, reflected in the popularity of high-performance vehicles. Behind the wheel, pluck drivers can also experience the famous Autobahn, where there are stretches of road with no speed limits. Germany’s passion for building “Autobahn-worthy” cars of exceptional quality see automakers vie to set benchmark lap times on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

Further south, Italy, considered one of the world’s most noted automobile centers, also creates cars rooted in the country’s rich driving history. With winding coastlines and an automotive culture that places emphasis on a passion for perfection, beauty, elegance, and high quality, Italy also hosts the world's oldest open-road race, the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia, a legendary endurance race established in 1927.

Racing and automotive culture is not endemic to Western societies. Rather, one of Africa’s most prominent fixtures, as an example, is the annual Dakar Rally. One of the most challenging and prestigious motorsports events in the world, it was held in Africa for over 30 years before it was moved to South America and, eventually, Saudi Arabia. The Dakar Rally, which covers thousands of kilometers of varied terrain, was first held in Africa in 1979 and was held there every year until 2007. The event brought together thousands of competitors and fans from around the world and helped to promote motorsports across the continent, leading to South Africa hosting several international motorsports events, including the World Rally Championship.

In Japan, some 12,000km away from central Africa, automotive culture has enjoyed a similar blossoming. Initially celebrated for its functional, utilitarian vehicle culture, Japanese brands quickly gained fame for building high-octane performance vehicles and, by the 1960s, began turning heads not only on the racetrack, but in the luxury vehicle sector also. With high standards of quality being commonplace in Japan, each vehicle — from luxury vehicles to race-winning machines — has earned its place on the global stage.

Neighboring China, perhaps the new kid on the block with the country’s motorization in full swing, has also been enjoying a tear in motorsports, where a booming economy and growing affluent classes have meant that the country has made significant strides in developing its own racing scene, most notably in electric motorsports, with the formation of the FIA Formula E Championship. Held since 2014, it’s helped to promote electric vehicle technology and sustainability away from F1 and the coveted Shanghai International Circuit.

In the southern hemisphere, Australia has a unique automotive culture that has been shaped by the country's geography, climate, and history. Due to the vast distances between cities and towns, cars have played a vital role in transportation, and Australians tend to have a love of large, powerful vehicles such as utes (utility vehicles) and SUVs. The country also has a strong tradition of car racing, with events such as the Bathurst 1000 and the Australian Grand Prix drawing large crowds. Additionally, there is a thriving car modification scene in Australia, with many enthusiasts customising their vehicles to suit their individual tastes and preferences.

Overall, motorsports serves as a common ground where various auto-manufacturers, with their unique histories, geographies, and cultural backgrounds, come together to showcase their top-performance cars and compete for glory. This competition drives each manufacturer to constantly push the limits of their engineering prowess, making motorsports an enthralling spectacle, as demonstrated in these efforts around the world.

The intense competition inspired by motorsports encourages manufacturers to constantly innovate, which is why Lexus pits their models firmly against the competition, representing the pinnacle of the brand's performance. Simply put, there is no better way to achieve further progress than to place them in direct competition on the racetrack. In striving for victory on the global stage, Lexus blends their own cultural heritage with that of their competitors, thereby driving their continuous evolution.

Lexus Takes on the World

Motorsports is a lab for developing cutting-edge technology—but it is also a remarkable hub for the customs, histories, and cultures of places with different social dynamics. The reason Lexus chooses to race a wide variety of circuits around the world is not simply to polish its technologies, but to also understand the lifestyles of many different people and places so they can provide lifestyle solutions that meet their unique needs.

In North America, where the brand was born, the Lexus RC F GT3 is a top competitor in the high-level IMSA WeatherTech Sports Championship—a series that includes the famous 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race—while the Lexus IS CCSR competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (aka The Race to the Clouds), which involved setting the best time on a 20-kilometer-course that climbed 1,439 meters from an elevation of 2,862 meters to the peak. Meanwhile, the Lexus LX can be found in the Baja 1000, the biggest North American offroad race and a challenge for any driver—less than 50% of the participants end up finishing.

In Europe, the Lexus LFA, LC, and RC F GT3 have participated in the traditional hill climb race at Goodwood Festival of Speed, creating a showcase for the brand’s engineering through the cars’ exciting engine sounds and performance. But the event has also allowed Lexus to meet and interact with carmakers and fans from around the world, giving the brand an opportunity to both learn from different car cultures and inform a diverse audience about Japan’s own car culture.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Lexus participated in the DTM Hockenheim Final with the LC 500—an event specially arranged by DTM, one of the most popular international touring car racing series, as part of a joint promotion with Super GT that pitted Europe’s speediest sports car series against its Japanese counterpart. Lexus competed against top carmakers such as Audi, BMW, and Aston Martin, learning from their engineering wizardry while also giving them a few things to think about.

In Asia, where there is a rapidly growing interest in electric vehicles and luxury cars, Lexus has provided an LC, RC F and IS as a safety car for GT World Challenge Asia, one of the largest Asian sports car racing series. This was symbolic of Lexus’s contributions to enhancing safety during races—a necessary element for keeping both drivers and audiences passionate about motorsports.

Overall, motorsports serve as a dynamic platform where automakers from diverse backgrounds showcase their exceptional race cars and vie for triuamph. It is within this realm of intense competition that they ignite inspiration, gather invaluable experience, and propel their vehicles to new heights of performance.

Lexus, driven by a passion for excellence, actively engages in elite races and series across a spectrum of motorsports worldwide, constantly refining its technology. In this exhilarating world of motorsports, Lexus persists in honing its unique vision through friendly rivalries, incorporating its essence into the development of its road-going production cars. With an unwavering commitment to evolution, Lexus fearlessly takes on the toughest challenges in motorsports.


Share this article