Toyota to Campaign New GR Yaris RALLY2 in 2024 Australian Rally Championship

February 21, 2024

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Australia (TGRA) Rally Team will campaign a pair of new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 cars in the upcoming 2024 Australian Rally Championship (ARC) with 2023 ARC champions Harry Bates and Coral Taylor set to debut the car at the opening round in Canberra.

A second GR Yaris Rally2 car is due to arrive in time for the third round of the season that will be driven by 2023 ARC season runners up Lewis Bates and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin.

The new GR Yaris Rally2 cars will replace the teams’ existing Australian-designed and built GR Yaris AP4s that have served exceptionally well with Toyota taking the manufacturers’ title and the team winning the driver’s and co-driver’s championship titles for the past two years.

Reigning ARC champion Harry Bates said he was proud of what the team has achieved in the AP4s over the past three years since it made its debut in Canberra in early 2021.

“Right from the start, we knew we had a winning car but a COVID-interrupted season that first year meant no championship was awarded. But we came back blitzing the field in 2022 with Lewis and Anthony taking the ARC title ahead of myself and Coral in the final round, before we turned the tables on them last year to take the season win,” Harry said.

“With the new factory GR Yaris Rally2 car, we’re confident we’ll be able to maintain that edge.

“We’ve watched how the car has performed since its first outing in the second-tier World Rally Championship (WRC2) at Monte Carlo in January and in Sweden this month and can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the new car in our home-town rally in Canberra in April,’ he said.

The new GR Yaris Rally2 car is Toyota’s first factory-built rally car homologated for WRC2 competition and available for customers across the world to buy and compete with in both WRC2 and national championships.

Like the TGRA team’s AP4s, it runs a 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that drives all four wheels through a five-speed sequential transmission.

A prototype of the new GR Yaris Rally2 car made its public debut at Rally Japan in 2022 driven by then Toyota global President and now Chairman Akio Toyoda and rally legend Juha Kankkunen, and has since covered more than 15,000km in competition development.

The new rally car was officially granted homologation by the world’s motorsport governing body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in January with four teams entering the 2024 WRC season opener in Monte Carlo driving the GR Yaris Rally2.

Being based on the GR Yaris, the new Rally2 car is similar in specification to the two GR Yaris AP4s that the TGRA team has campaigned over the past three years.

However those cars were engineered and built locally by Neal Bates Motorsport, which manages the TGRA Rally Team, with bodywork designed in collaboration with Toyota Australia’s local design team.

This was the first time that Toyota Australia had been involved in the design of a rally car and at the time, the AP4 became the world’s first off-tarmac rally car to be based on the then new GR Yaris.