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The automaker started sponsoring the Japanese pilot in 2016, and hopes to bring this partnership to fruition in the 2022 Air Race.

Pathfinder Co., Ltd. (Pathfinder), represented by air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya, and Lexus just announced that they have signed a partnership agreement. This team up will hopefully make history at the first Air Race World Championship (The Air Race), a series starting next year

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“With the strong support of Lexus, we will strive to become the first champion of the new Air Race,” Muroya says. “I believe that an exciting new story will emerge as fans and team crew come together as one.” 

The partnership is also meant to help in creating the future by promoting a carbon-neutral society. 

Lexus started a partnership with Muroya, a Japan-based air race pilot, in 2016. Tightly aligned with Muroya’s inspirational never-give-up attitude and spirit, the automaker has since continued to sponsor him. 

Merging tech

In 2017, Lexus and Muroya launched a “Technology Exchange Group” to regularly study each other’s technologies and explore the possibility of new technologies in the area of aircraft and automobiles. 

The discussions led to the development of a control column grip for Muroya’s aircraft that incorporates Lexus’s sensitivity technologies. It also produced a new way for his aircraft to turn based on aerodynamic analysis stemming from Lexus vehicle test data. 

This year a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) spoiler, developed by incorporating aerodynamic technology used in aircraft design, was even adopted for use in the LC and sold in select regions. 

The coming debut of The Air Race spurred Lexus and Pathfinder to form a partnership agreement. Realizing the need to further accelerate their joint efforts so that they could quickly link the technologies and know-how of both sides to develop racing machines, they established “Lexus/Pathfinder Air Racing” as a joint race team. 

This new team will strive to make history by winning the first championship of The Air Race. Lexus intends to dispatch technical coordinators to support the development and verification of technologies in the fields of aerodynamics, cooling, and ergonomics, to build a strong team structure that can lead Muroya to victory. 

Making history

Based on the idea that “grueling air races train people and train technology,” Lexus and Muroya will apply the technology and know-how cultivated through air races to create a better society in their respective fields. 

Lexus will utilize its aerodynamic, cooling, and weight-reduction technologies and know-how gained through grueling air races to create ever-better cars for the realization of a carbon-neutral society. 

In addition to air racing, Muroya will continue to develop new talent that will lead to the next generation of mobility, while also creating an airfield for testing in cooperation with Fukushima Prefecture. With the cooperation of local companies, he will promote carbon-neutral aircraft starting with supporting instructional education of light-sports aircraft (LSA) manufacturing.

“Lexus will take on the challenge of an exciting air race together with world-class athlete Muroya,” says Koji Sato, Lexus International president and chief branding officer, adding that they will create a better car based on the new perspective of its brand holder Akio Toyoda.

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