New Toyota Rally1 WRC car to commence testing by summer

Toyota's World Rally Championship outfit is aiming to have its hybrid-powered Rally1 car ready to run by the summer

New Toyota Rally1 WRC car to commence testing by summer

Led by technical director Tom Fowler, Toyota Gazoo Racing is developing the all-new car for the 2022 hybrid regulations around the road-going GR Yaris architecture.

It will go up against a new car from M-Sport Ford that team principal Richard Millener revealed has been in development since the end of 2019, while Hyundai Motorsport has started work on its challenger despite the company’s board having not yet reached a firm decision about its plans beyond the 2021 season.

Fowler would not be drawn on whether a delay in taking delivery of the hybrid hardware from Compact Dynamics had disrupted plans, but confirmed that "some manufacturing work has started" on the 2022 car.

“The 2022 Rally1 car is mostly in the design phase at the moment,” he said.

“We’ll run some mule test cars at first which means they will have some parts for 2022 on them, but not altogether and not entirely on the correct chassis.

“After the mule tests, we expect to have a complete car – a complete package together – to run during the summer."

Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala confirmed that long-term development driver Juho Hanninen will exclusively drive the first mule, before the marque's WRC regulars enter the frame.

Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota team principal 2021

Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota team principal 2021

Photo by: McKlein

Team leader and seven-time champion Sebastien Ogier is set to call time on his WRC career at the end of the season, but Latvala said the Frenchman would be involved in the test programme for the new car.

“We’ve a test driver in Juho Hanninen and we have three great drivers in our team," said Latvala, who was part of Toyota's driver lineup alongside Hanninen and Esapekka Lappi on the marque's return to the WRC in 2017.

"Sebastien has been winning titles with the different car manufacturers and is a seven-time world champion. There is also the knowledge and the information and the skills.

“For sure it’s a very important tool for us and to use the skills he has and to get his opinion of the car.

“It’s going to be exciting to see a new chapter coming in the World Rally Championship. I think, overall, hybrid is a good concept."

Latvala – who succeeded Tommi Makinen as team principal last December after it was announced that Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe would take control of the company’s WRC programme from 2021 – has hinted that he is keen to sample the development models to help broaden his appreciation of the hybrid rules.

The 18-time WRC event winner added: “I don’t think that I will do so much testing, but I have said that I would like to try the car at some point and have the understanding and the feeling of where we are with the new regulations car compared to the past.

“You know, I have been driving all the different cars from the past 20 years, so I would like to know what the future car is like.

“Overall, I think I would have the understanding of what the drivers are talking about [when giving the technicians their feedback].

“But I think the very first test, with Juho driving, you have to get the car on the level where everything works and where the good concept of the car is there. After that, the fine-tuning we can start with the main drivers.”

 

shares
comments
EKS launches Audi A1 Quattro Rally2 car

Previous article

EKS launches Audi A1 Quattro Rally2 car

Next article

Adamo "optimistic" Hyundai will stay in WRC beyond 2021

Adamo "optimistic" Hyundai will stay in WRC beyond 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Jason Craig
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021