World rally return for toyota motorsport gmbh
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.
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."
Studio and action photos of the Yaris WRC are offered rights-free for media usage at www.toyota-motorsport-photos.com.
Yaris WRC Technical Specifications
Chassis:Type Steel body shell Brakes 300mm discs on gravel, 355mm on tarmacWheels 7 x 15" gravel, 8 x 18" tarmacTyres MichelinDimensionsLength: 3910 mm Width: 1820 mm
Powertrain:Engine capacity 1.6litresType In-line four-cylinderDirect injection Up to 200barFuel PetrolTurbo pressure 2.5bar absolute (maximum)Air restrictor 33mmPower Around 300hp (at 6,000rpm)Torque 420NmMax revs 8,500rpmTransmission Six-speed sequentialClutch ZF Sachs
TOYOTA's WRC Heritage1973Manufacturers' Championship: 10th (1 win)TOYOTA's first victory, Walter Boyce/Doug Woods driving a Corolla TE20 on the Press On Regardless Rally (United States)1974Manufacturers' Championship: 4thFuture World Champion Björn Waldegaard makes his TOYOTA debut1975Manufacturers' Championship: 7th (1 win)First victory for TTE with Hannu Mikkola/Atso Aho driving a Corolla Levin in the 1000 Lakes Rally (Finland)1976Manufacturers' Championship: 6th 1977Manufacturers' Championship: 3rd1978Manufacturers' Championship: 6th1979Manufacturers' Championship: 5th1980Manufacturers' Championship: 7th1981Manufacturers' Championship: 8th1982Manufacturers' Championship: 5th (1 win)TMG founder Ove Andersson drives in WRC for the last time, driving a Celica 2000GT1983Manufacturers' Championship: 6th (1 win)1984Manufacturers' Championship: 4th (1 win)First Safari Rally (Kenya) victory with Björn Waldegaard/Hans Thorzelius driving a Celica Twincam Turbo (TA64)1985Manufacturers' Championship: 5th (2 wins)1986Manufacturers' Championship: 6th (2 wins)TOYOTA's third successive Safari Rally win, with Björn Waldegaard/Fred Gallagher driving a Celica Twincam Turbo (TA64)1987Manufacturers' Championship: 7th 1988Manufacturers' Championship: 5thIntroduction 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 guises1989Manufacturers' Championship: 2nd (1 win)Carlos Sainz makes his TOYOTA debut, competing in seven rallies and finishing on the podium in three1990Manufacturers' Championship: 2nd (5 wins)Carlos Sainz becomes TOYOTA's first drivers' World Champion, at the wheel of a Celica GT-Four (ST165)1991Manufacturers' Championship: 2nd (6 wins)TOYOTA' first victory in the legendary Monte Carlo Rally1992Manufacturers' Championship: 2nd (5 wins)1993Manufacturers' Championship: 1st (7 wins)TOYOTA becomes the first Japanese company to win the World Rally Championship1994Manufacturers' Championship: 1st (5 wins)TOYOTA achieves a second hat-trick of Safari Rally wins, with Ian Duncan driving a Celica Turbo WRC1995Manufacturers' Championship: 3rd, disqualified (1 win)1998Manufacturers' 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 WRC1999Manufacturers' Championship: 1st (1 win)TOYOTA's third manufacturers' World Championship only two companies have won more in WRC historyAbout 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. www.toyota-motorsport.com
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