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Toyota Rally2 car to make WRC debut in Monte Carlo

Toyota’s new GR Yaris Rally2 will make its World Rally Championship debut at the Monte Carlo season opener later this month after the car was granted homologation by the FIA.

Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

Photo by: Toyota

The Japanese marque has been developing a Rally2 version of its GR Yaris since 2022 as it bids to join the customer rally car market.

Now the GR Yaris Rally2 has been granted homologation from the FIA, Toyota will join WRC rivals Hyundai and M-Sport Ford in the Rally2 arena, alongside Skoda and Citroen.

The GR Yaris Rally2 has been primarily developed for customer rallying. Chairman Akio Toyoda hopes this will be the car to make Toyota’s first step in building a bridge between motorsport vehicles and production vehicles through rally competition.

The car made its public debut at Rally Japan in 2022 and has since undergone an extensive development programme ahead of the FIA homologation, which began late last year.

Toyota has received a lot of feedback from the many drivers who have tested the Rally2 car on different surfaces and in different conditions. More than 15,000 kilometres have been covered, including participation in the Japanese Rally Championship which also served as testing on Japanese roads.

Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

Photo by: Toyota

Toyota GR Yaris Rally2

Toyota’s WRC team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has played an active role in the development of the GR Yaris Rally2. The 18-time WRC rally winner drove the car at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, before piloting it to victory at Rally Hokkaido in Japan.

Speaking after his victory in the car at Rally Hokkaido, he said: “First of all, it's very easy to drive. Every customer in the future, when this car comes, will be able to adapt to this car very easily.”

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The first GR Yaris Rally2 is set to be delivered to ROOKIE Racing, a team led by Toyoda himself.

While the entry list for Monte Carlo is yet to be published, Toyota has revealed that four teams will debut the car in the WRC curtain-raiser in Monte Carlo from 25-28 January.  

It is known that Toyota’s WRC Challenge Programme graduates Hikaru Kogure and Yuki Yamamoto, and the experienced Bryan Bouffier will contest WRC2 campaigns behind the wheel of the GR Yaris Rally2 this year.

Update: Rising Finnish star Sami Pajari will also drive a GR Yaris Rally2 for the Printsport Racing team.  

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