What is the biggest challenge of Toyota with the GR Yaris Rally2?

The technical director of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Tom Fowler, reveals what is the biggest challenge of his team with the GR Yaris Rally2 in rallying and how this car helped on the Yaris Rally1 development.

The Japanese team introduced the GR Yaris Rally2 for the first time in Monte Carlo two months ago and had scheduled tests with several drivers on different type of road conditions during last year. Jan Solans, Sami Pajari and Pierre-Louis Loubet were among the drivers who got behind the wheel of the Yaris Rally2 in Alps last December and gave valuable feedback to the Toyota mechanics before the start of the new season. However, it must be mentioned that Toyota did not want to get involved as a factory team in WRC2 class and its intention was to provide the Rally2 car to the customers in order to remain focused on the top class and to earn some money from sales or rentals. So far, the best result for Toyota and its customers is the 2-3 finish at Rally Sweden with Sami Pajari and Georg Linnamae.

"The biggest challenge is getting the focus of the project correct because it’s a customer project that is out for sale", Fowler said.

"It’s the first car we’ve designed like that as a company.

"In the past, our customer was only our factory driver, so we could easily understand what the need of the project was because the drivers are there with us. 

"Now the driver could be anyone, so we had to really understand the focus and how to approach that.

"The regulation has been around for so long and there are lots of evolutions of all the other cars – it’s a very competitive market to come into. 

"Everything has to work really well to match what everyone else has done as all the other cars are so good. 

"Our first one has to be almost evo 3 or 4 straight away. 

"That’s not just performance; it’s reliability, usability, everything has to be what everyone else has been doing for several years.

"There are certain components in Rally1 and Rally2 where the regulation is the same or very similar.

"We were able to use a lot of the design philosophy and learning we had done for Rally1 to help with Rally2.

"But also in the other direction, we found some improvements for Rally1 based on what we have done for Rally2. 

"One of the big benefits from the way we structured the project to have it within the same design team as the Rally1 car was this ability to learn in both directions".

Source: Motorsport.com

Photo Credits: Red Bull Content Pool

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