WEC racer Stephane Sarrazin leads Toyota Yaris WRC test line-up

Toyota World Endurance Championship racer Stephane Sarrazin will lead the test team on the Yaris WRC being used for the firm's World Rally Championship return in 2017

WEC racer Stephane Sarrazin leads Toyota Yaris WRC test line-up

Former Subaru WRC driver Sarrazin, whose varied career also include Formula 1 race and test stints, will be joined by sometime WRC regular Sebastian Lindholm and 27-year-old Frenchman Eric Camilli, who is the first member of Toyota's WRC junior driver development scheme.

Although Sarrazin has focused primarily on sportscars since the end of his Subaru stint in 2006, he has continued to contest occasional rallies and won last year's Tour of Corsica European Rally Championship event.

He is also racing in Formula E alongside his WEC programme.

More Toyota Yaris WRC shots in the AUTOSPORT news gallery

The TMG-developed Yaris has already tested in Europe, but that running will intensify over the coming two seasons in readiness for its competitive debut in January 2017.

TMG president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said: "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."

Toyota has also revealed a technical specification of the Yaris WRC for the first time.

Toyota Yaris WRC
Engine capacity: 1600cc
Type: in-line four-cylinder
Direct injection: up to 200bar
Turbo pressure: 2.5bar absolute (maximum)
Air restrictor: 33mm
Power: 300hp (at 6000rpm)
Torque: 420Nm
Max revs: 8,500rpm
Transmission: six-speed sequential
Clutch: ZF Sachs
Brakes: 300mm discs on gravel, 355mm on Tarmac
Wheels: 7 x 15" gravel, 8 x 18" Tarmac
Tyres: Michelin
Dimensions: length 3910 width 1820mm

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Toyota announces 2017 World Rally Championship return with Yaris

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