Before AO Racing arrives in Long Beach, California for the 48th Annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Porsche customer racing team visited Mattel, Inc in anticipation of the upcoming Hot Wheel replica of Rexy, the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R. The designers at Hot Wheels were able to get up close and personal with the Tyrannosaurus Rex race car, the toy of which is expected to hit shelves in late 2023 or early 2024.
“We unveiled Rexy to the Hot Wheels team, who will be building it out,” said Team Manager and Driver Gunnar Jeannette. “It’s really cool to see all of the people get involved and take a look, and to see their enthusiasm.”
Rexy and the team arrived on Tuesday morning, greeted by a host of designers who would take part in creating the toy car.
The team’s full-season livery on their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Porsche sports a green body with a wide teethy mouth, short arms, and strong hips and feet, with the dinosaur’s tail sweeping up across the roof. The livery made its debut at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last month and instantly captured the hearts of race fans of all ages around the world. It attracted the attention of Hot Wheels Design Manager Dmitriy Shakhmatov, a family friend of the Jeannette's. Before the race started, the two brands had a deal in place to create a toy Hot Wheels car of Rexy the GT3 Rawr.
After surveying and drooling over the car in the morning, the Hot Wheels staff invited Jeannette and team behind the security walls of the design and development center for a VIP tour of the facility, led by Shakhmatov.
“It’s such a cool car that really captivates the audience, and especially the kids,” said Shakhmatov. “It provides excitement for all demographics, from three-year-olds to 93-year-olds, as we say. Having so much fun and seeing our partners with AO Racing and Porsche doing a livery that really stands out is something that our brand is all about. We have the vehicle in our lineup, and having the livery will totally make this a nice, appealing toy.”
From initial sketches to the final production in packaging the AO Racing Rexy will likely make it to market in late 2023 or early 2024. Due to large demand for merchandise for IMSA’s favorite dinosaur, AO Racing has other apparel and team goodies in the works, expected to be made public soon.
This weekend’s 100-minute Grand Prix of Long Beach will take place on Saturday, April 15, beginning at 2:05 PM PT, airing live on the USA Network and streaming live on Peacock. Full-season drivers PJ Hyett and Sebastian Priaulx will drive Rexy in California, missing the team’s second round of the World Endurance Championship in Portugal with Project 1. Drivers Matteo Cairoli, Guilherme de Oliveira, and Miguel Ramos will be in the No. 56 Project 1- AO Porsche 911 RSR-19, racing at Algarve International Circuit in Portimão. The six-hour endurance race will take place on Sunday, April 16 at 7:00 AM ET. Fans can watch live on MotorTrend.