TEAMWORK – Norio Aoki, Project Manager of Yaris WRC engineOn November 4, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
My name is Norio Aoki. I am the project manager
for the WRC engine at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. I’ve been employed by Toyota Motorsport
GmbH located in Germany. I joined TMG in July 2000 to do the Formula 1 engine project. We met Tommi for the first time in 2015. Tommi-san
told me in the first meeting in October 2015, “Norio-san, this engine’s too big”.
And as usual, many engineers, we put 200 reasons why it should be like this, and he said: “It’s
too big. To make a better car you have to make a smaller one.” So until we saw the
car really racing with others in a competitive level in 2017, in January in Monte Carlo,
I was not quite sure. But on Sunday night in this team dinner, Tommi said: “TMG, I’m
sorry how I pushed you, but you guys made it.” That was a big relief for us. I’ve always liked working with different
people. It doesn’t matter where he comes from, if he’s short or fat or tall, whatever.
I like travelling and meeting new people. Toyoda-san always says “ever better car”
yes? He doesn’t say “best car”. But actually this was intentional because there
is no ‘best’, because best is perhaps only in that moment and the next day we have
to look for better than the best. Through motorsports, and from where I am,
we have activity around the engine, that means the engine on the car, the car is driven by
the driver, co-driver and there is a big team supporting this activity. So through the rally
project we have a new network of these people trying to push for the same target, but to
achieve something in the team, the team members are made from so many different cultures,
nationalities, size, thoughts. It’s not artificial contact and connection, but it’s
a real team physically working together to achieve something.