It looks like Toyota is serious about making a return to the WRC which can only be good for the sport as a whole – another manufacturer getting involved.
The company has previously been testing their new 1.6 litre Global Race Engine and drivetrain in a Yaris S2000 car in South Africa, but this week they were testing a prototype of their proposed Yaris WRC challenger in Italy. Sebastien Lindholm and Stephane Sarrazin both had runs in the car.
But don’t go getting your hopes up, a full-blown return is not quite imminent. There’s a new Yaris model coming next year and the firm will be expected to homologate that rather than the current car, which makes commercial sense. However, the company will continue to test and develop the Toyota Motorsport Division machine ahead of a possible return in 2017 to conform with the new WRC technical regulations which are due to come into effect then.
It’s 15 years since Toyota curtailed its WRC programme, it’s time they were back!