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Toyota returns to WRC in 2017 with Yaris WRC

Toyota has announced it will return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017 with a car developed and built by the Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) technical centre in Germany.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS made today in Tokyo, Japan by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda where the Yaris WRC was revealed in its launch livery. Toyota won four drivers’ and three manufacturers’ world championships during the 1990s.

According to Toyota, the Yaris WRC has already “completed a preliminary test program on tarmac and gravel stages throughout Europe, establishing a promising baseline on which to build over the coming months”.

The car runs a 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that produces over 300hp, while advanced simulation, testing and production techniques have given the Yaris WRC body and chassis is unique look.

Toyota returns to WRC in 2017 with Yaris WRC

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

Toyota says, 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.

“Camilli will carry out the development program alongside last year’s Tour de Corse winner Stéphane Sarrazin, also a driver in Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Championship team, and experienced Finn Sebastian Lindholm,” Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota returns to WRC in 2017 with Yaris WRC

Team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said it was a great honour to bring the Toyota name back to the WRC alongside continued participation in the World Endurance Championship.

“To run two works motorsport programs simultaneously is of course a challenge but we believe we have the expertise and determination to succeed,” Kinoshita said.

“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,” he said.

“We are looking forward to taking the next steps with an extensive development plan and a junior driver development program. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to this new challenge with great anticipation.”

Yaris WRC Technical Specifications

Chassis:

Type : Steel body shell
Brakes : 300mm discs on gravel, 355mm on tarmac
Wheels : 7 x 15″ gravel, 8 x 18″ tarmac
Tyres : Michelin
Dimensions : Length: 3910mm Width: 1820mm

Powertrain:

Engine:  capacity 1.6 litres
Type : In-line four-cylinder
Direct injection Up to 200bar
Fuel:  Petrol
Turbo pressure : 2.5 bar absolute (maximum)
Air restrictor : 33mm
Power : Around 300hp (at 6000rpm)
Torque : 420Nm
Max revs : 8500rpm
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 at 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)
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 Twin Cam 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 Twin Cam 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)
A fter 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


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober