Toyota closes on 2017 World Rally Championship return

A timetable for Toyota's return to the World Rally Championship is being drawn up in Japan, according to AUTOSPORT's sources in Tokyo, with a 2017 return likely

Toyota closes on 2017 World Rally Championship return

There is increasing speculation in Japan that a 2017 Toyota WRC programme will be firmed up early in the new year.

The source said: "Things are moving inside Toyota right now. [President Akio] Toyoda-san has never hidden either his love of rallying or his desire to get Toyota back into rallying.

"What he wanted to see was the enthusiasm both in and out of the company for the same outcome. We believe we are there now."

Toyota Motorsport GmbH has confirmed it intends to intensify testing of the Yaris WRC that has been running this season.

A company spokesmen said: "We've done a handful of tests this year.

"Next year we'll be ramping that up and going further afield. We'll go further north into Scandinavia [for a snow test] for example.

AUTOSPORT understands that there is still no decision over precisely what Toyota will run in 2017.

The current test Yaris is a possibility, but a Corolla is also thought possible, depending on the regulations.

Toyota has been present at all WRC technical working meetings and is happy with the planned rules.

The spokesman added: "Toyota has been involved in the discussions regarding the regulations. We're comfortable with where the regs are."

He also confirmed that WRC Commission chief Jarmo Mahonen was correct to say that Toyota was not pushing for a hybrid element in the rules.

Toyota last competed in the WRC as a factory team in 1999 and talk of a return to rallying's elite has raged throughout the 2014 season.

"TMG was built on rallying and there are people still in the company who have been working on that project since the 1970s," the spokesman continued.

"Rallying remains at the heart of the company and there's a genuine wish to go back.

"As far as we can judge it seems there's also a wish to go back from Japan, I think Akio Toyoda has communicated that quite clearly.

"It's a wish and expectation to see a clear timetable. That would match the Japanese ethos to plan and prepare correctly for any possible activity.

"We would certainly hope for a clear timetable towards competition."

shares
comments
Volkswagen sceptical over Sebastien Loeb WRC return motive
Previous article

Volkswagen sceptical over Sebastien Loeb WRC return motive

Next article

Ex-F1 ace Robert Kubica to continue in World Rally Championship

Ex-F1 ace Robert Kubica to continue in World Rally Championship
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021