Toyota set for return to World Rallying

Yaris-WRC_Studio_4 Yaris-WRC_Studio_5 Yaris-WRC_Studio_8 Yaris-WRC_Studio_2

COLOGNE, Germany, 30 January 2015 —— TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) will return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017 with a car developed and built entirely at its Cologne technical centre.

TMG Yaris WRC Test

Over the next two years TMG will continue its test programme with the Yaris WRC car to prepare for a full return to the series in which it won four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ World Championships in the 1990s.

Today’s news was announced by TOYOTA Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda at a news conference in Tokyo, where the Yaris WRC made its public debut, complete with new launch livery.

TMG Yaris WRC Test

The Yaris WRC has already completed a preliminary test programme on tarmac and gravel stages throughout Europe, establishing a promising baseline on which to build over the coming months.

The car features a 1.6-litre turbo-charged, direct injection engine, which produces over 300hp, while advanced simulation, testing and production techniques have shaped the Yaris chassis.

With an official WRC programme now confirmed, development will be expanded while the dedicated team of specialists to engineer and operate the car will be increased.

Several young drivers have already tested the car and Frenchman Eric Camilli, 27, has been selected as the first member of a junior driver development scheme designed with the goal of developing TOYOTA rally stars of the future.

Eric will carry out the development programme alongside last year’s Tour de Corse winner Stéphane Sarrazin, also a racer in TOYOTA’s FIA World Endurance Championship team, and Sebastian Lindholm.

That test programme will include several WRC venues around Europe on a variety of surfaces. Experience gained will assist TOYOTA as it prepares a car for the 2017 season, when updated technical regulations are expected to be introduced.

The Yaris WRC follows an illustrious line of TOYOTA cars to carry the brand into WRC and when it makes its competitive debut in 2017, it will mark almost two decades since the company’s final World Championship rally, in 1999.

That 1999 season marked the end of over 25 years continuous rally activity at TMG, which began life as Andersson Motorsport GmbH, named after company founder Ove Andersson, and competed in WRC as TOYOTA Team Europe.

During that time, 43 wins were achieved with iconic cars like the Celica Twincam Turbo and GT-Four variants and the Corolla WRC featuring legendary drivers such as Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol.

TMG already stepped back into the rally world last year with the introduction of its GT86 CS-R3 customer rally car, designed to FIA R3 regulations.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, TMG President: “It is a great honour to be asked to bring the TOYOTA name back to the World Rally Championship alongside our continued participation in the World Endurance Championship. To run two works motorsport programmes simultaneously is of course a challenge but we believe we have the expertise and determination to succeed. There is much to do as we make the journey back to WRC but to have received the support of TOYOTA Motor Corporation and our President Akio Toyoda is already very encouraging. We are looking forward to taking the next steps with an extensive development plan and a junior driver development programme. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to this new challenge with great anticipation.”

Yaris-WRC_Engine_3

Yaris WRC Technical Specifications

Chassis:

Type Steel body shell

Brakes:  300mm discs on gravel, 355mm on tarmac

Wheels: 7 x 15-inch gravel, 8 x 18-inch tarmac

Tyres: Michelin

Dimensions 

Length: 3910 mm

Width: 1820 mm

 

Powertrain:

Engine capacity: 1.6-litres

Type: In-line four-cylinder

Direct injection: Up to 200bar

Fuel: Petrol

Turbo pressure: 2.5bar absolute (maximum)

Air restrictor:  33mm

Power: Around 300hp (at 6,000rpm)

Torque: 420Nm

Max revs: 8,500rpm

Transmission: Six-speed sequential

Clutch:  ZF Sachs

TOYOTA’s WRC Heritage

1973 Manufacturers’ Championship: 10th (1 win)

TOYOTA’s first victory, Walter Boyce/Doug Woods driving a Corolla TE20 on the Press On Regardless Rally (United States)

1974 Manufacturers’ Championship: 4th

Future World Champion Björn Waldegaard makes his TOYOTA debut

1975 Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th (1 win)

First victory for TTE with Hannu Mikkola/Atso Aho driving a Corolla Levin in the 1000 Lakes Rally (Finland)

1976 Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th

1977 Manufacturers’ Championship: 3rd

1978 Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th

1979 Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th

1980 Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th

1981 Manufacturers’ Championship: 8th

1982 Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th (1 win)

TMG founder Ove Andersson drives in WRC for the last time, driving a Celica 2000GT

1983 Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th (1 win)

1984 Manufacturers’ Championship: 4th (1 win)

First Safari Rally (Kenya) victory with Björn Waldegaard/Hans Thorzelius driving a Celica Twincam Turbo (TA64)

1985 Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th (2 wins)

1986 Manufacturers’ Championship: 6th (2 wins)

TOYOTA’s third successive Safari Rally win, with Björn Waldegaard/Fred Gallagher driving a Celica Twincam Turbo (TA64)

1987 Manufacturers’ Championship: 7th

1988 Manufacturers’ Championship: 5th

Introduction of the Celica GT Four, which would go on to win 29 WRC rallies and six World Championships (two manufacturers’ and four drivers’) in its ST165, ST185 and ST205 guises

1989 Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (1 win)

Carlos Sainz makes his TOYOTA debut, competing in seven rallies and finishing on the podium in three

1990 Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (5 wins)

Carlos Sainz becomes TOYOTA’s first drivers’ World Champion, at the wheel of a Celica GT-Four (ST165)

1991 Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (6 wins)

TOYOTA’ first victory in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally

1992 Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (5 wins)

1993 Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (7 wins)

TOYOTA becomes the first Japanese company to win the World Rally Championship

1994 Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (5 wins)

TOYOTA achieves a second hat-trick of Safari Rally wins, with Ian Duncan driving a Celica Turbo WRC

1995    Manufacturers’ Championship: 3rd, disqualified (1 win)

1998 Manufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (3 wins)

After a two-season absence, TOYOTA wins on its return at the first attempt, in the Monte Carlo Rally, thanks to Carlos Sainz/Luis Moya in a Corolla WRC

1999 Manufacturers’ Championship: 1st (1 win)

TOYOTA’s third manufacturers’ World Championship; only two companies have won more in WRC history

Yaris-WRC_Studio_3

About TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH:

TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has been based in Cologne, Germany since 1979 and built its reputation in the World Rally Championship, winning four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ title during a long participation which ended in 1999. TMG was also the home of TOYOTA’s works Le Mans 24 Hours (1998-1999) and Formula 1 (2002-2009) teams, and currently runs the TOYOTA Racing team in the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2014, the third year of the hybrid-based programme, TMG achieved the manufacturers’ and drivers’ World Championships. Alongside its works motorsport activities, TMG offers race and rally vehicles, such as the successful GT86 CS-V3 and CS-R3 variants, to customers. Since 2009, TMG is a leading engineering services supplier, offering its cutting-edge development facilities and know-how to a range of industries.

[Source : TOYOTA Motorsport]

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