Fri 24 Nov 2023

Rally2 Toyota Yaris on course for ERC action

Toyota’s Rally2-specification GR Yaris is set for action in the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship.

A force at Rally1 level in the FIA World Rally Championship, Toyota has been building up to its Rally2 debut since last season’s Forum8 Rally Japan when a prototype car was put through its paces during a demo run.  


Since then, team engineers and technicians have overseen an extensive test and development programme ahead of the car’s homologation, a process required for the car to be certified for international competition use.  


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team principal Jari-Matti Latvala said: “We have started the production of the Rally2 [Yaris] and we are hoping to do between 40 to 50 cars in different championships all over the world. They will be customer cars and we will try to provide four cars per month.



“After Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally Sweden, [getting the cars ready for the ERC] will be the next priority when we go from the WRC to the European championship.”  


Latvala confirmed that Juho Hänninen, the 2012 European champion, has played a key role in Toyota’s Rally2 project as one of the test drivers. He also confirmed that all GR Yaris Rally2 cars will be run by customer teams with no factory operation planned.  


Toyota is set to rival Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport (Ford) and Škoda in bidding for honours in the ERC’s headlining Rally2-based category in 2024.   


Its last official ERC involvement occurred in 2017 when Luca Rossetti, the three-time ERC champion, drove a Toyota Motorsport-entered GT86 CS-R3 on Rajd Rzeszowski in Poland.   


French talent Victor Cartier drove a self-built Toyota Yaris Rally2 Kit on selected ERC events in 2021 and 2022, albeit as a private project (below).  


Rally Hungary’s revamped gravel-based event is set to open the new ERC season from 12 - 14 April.

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM