Juichi Wakisaka is the official ambassador for Toyota Gazoo Racing,
and the team manager who led the Lexus Team to victory as 2019 Super GT 500 Series Champions.
In the past he has also won many victories in the Toyota Supra himself,
serving as a top driver for Toyota for many years. He is also an avid fan of the Supra,
as testified by himself and others, and owns new and old Supra models for his own private use.
The “11R” is a forged wheel produced by Juichi Wakisaka with uncompromising
attention to fine detail, from the design to the manufacturing process.
Machining of aluminum produces a beautiful finish. Aluminum machined forging is a production method which utilizes a computer-controlled, high-precision engineering device called a machining center. A forged aluminum alloy billet is chiseled down like a sculpture and finished into a single aluminum wheel. Forged wheels cut and milled using a machining center can be finished into more lightweight wheels, with higher rigidity and a sharper appearance than wheels produced by forging alone. In comparison with design die casting, machined forging offers greater freedom of shape formation, and can be used to produce more complex and uncompromising designs.
The“11R”utilizes the 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, which is an ideal material for forged aluminum wheels. A cylindrical 6061-T6 alloy billet is compressed using a 10,000 ton high-pressure forging press. The forging process alters the crystalline grain structure of the metal billet to follow the form of the wheel. Internal defects such as voids and air bubbles are pressed out, resulting in a greater level of toughness, and producing a material that is thin yet strong.
Cut 6061-T6 aluminum alloy billet
The aluminum alloy is compressed using a high-pressure forging press. During the forging process, the internal grain structure of the metal is finely deformed to produce a material that maintains a high level of strength, even when thinly shaped.
The forged wheel is cut and milled using an ultra-hard drill bit, made possible by the use of a high-precision machining center, which enables an uncompromis- ing design to be achieved.
Racing driver Juichi Wakisaka began his racing career in karting in 1991. In 1995, he competed in the Japanese F3 Championship, winning Rookie of the Year. The following year, in 1996, he became the first Japanese champion in six years. Later, in 1998, he served as a test driver for F1 Jordan Mugen-Honda. After his return to Japan, Wakisaka competed in Formula Nippon (now Super Formula) and the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (now Super GT), winning five races in Formula Nippon, and 11 in Super GT. In 2002 he won the Super GT Series Championship, and in 2006 became double champion by winning both the Drivers’Championship and the Teams’Championship. His team won the Teams’Championship again in 2008, and he became double champion again in 2009. As a proud three-time Super GT Series Champion, his outstand- ing skills, fame and popularity have earned him the nickname of “Mr. Super GT.”In 2019, he successfully led the Lexus Team to win the Super GT 500 Series Championship as team manager, while at the same time serving as TGR Ambassador for Toyota Gazoo Racing.