Motorsport: 2017 a development year for Toyota WRC

Toyota Motorsport at their launch ahead of a 2017 return to the WRC. Photo / Getty Images
Toyota Motorsport at their launch ahead of a 2017 return to the WRC. Photo / Getty Images

Toyota's re-entry into the World Rally Championship next year is expected to be a development year for both the new Yaris WRC and the yet-to-be-announced drivers.

Team boss Tommi Makinen is still to confirm his driver combination but admits the likes of youngsters Ott Tanak, Elfyn Evans, Teemu Suninen, Esapekka Lappi and Pontus Tidemand were on the radar.

"Basically there are some of the current drivers available, not too many of them, but there are also pretty experienced young drivers, promising newcomers," Makinen told wrc.com.

"I would say we need to make up our mind how we want to think about the future. Do we look more for 2017 and try to be as ready as possible then, or are we looking a little bit further to the future?

"We need to look what is our direction and that's a decision we will do with Japan.
"Of course, we would like to see ourselves as soon as possible on the podium but at the same time we need to be realistic where we are.

"We are a new team and we build up first from zero. I would say at the same time we concentrate on analysing every single event during 2017 to be even stronger for 2018," the former world champion added.

Meanwhile the new Yaris WRC is going to be quite different to their rivals according to technical chief Tom Fowler, with the team focusing on a unique aero package.

"It's too early for me to explain where these differences are physically with the car, that would give away something we feel will be an advantage to us."

"In the previous generation cars there was not much targeting on aerodynamics," said Fowler.

"Going to the other extreme, if you look at Formula 1 cars, they will compromise every single suspension component for a small amount of aero. Now that's not something that rallying has ever seen before and it's not to say we will fully compromise everything for aero, but the balance has changed."

- NZ Herald

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