Toyota Motorsport (TMG) believes the first outing on a WRC event for its new GT86 CS-R3 car has enabled it to take a major step forward in the car’s development.
A prototype of TMG’s new rear-wheel-drive rally car took part in ADAC Rallye Deutschland, running as a road-opening zero car with former female world rally champion Isolde Holderied at the wheel.
Toyota said the priority throughout the 1500km rally was to record as many kilometres as possible to evaluate initial specifications and find improvements before the finished CS-R3 kit is delivered to customers in early 2015.
Nico Ehlert, TMG’s principal customer engineer said: “Overall it has been a very positive experience. The car was a first prototype so we expected some challenges but I am pleased to say the weekend was smoother than expected.
“Being in an environment where time is limited and the pressure is high gave us the chance to understand not only the performance of the car but also its operational needs. We have found a few areas to improve both in terms of technical performance and service park handling.
“As well as a positive weekend from a technical point of view, it was also great to see how the CS-R3 has been received. Fans were really happy to have a rear-wheel-drive car back in rally and the customer interest has been very encouraging. We can look forward to seeing plenty of CS-R3 cars on stages around Europe and further afield next year.”
Rallye Deutschland was the second round of this year’s championship to attract a strong Toyota presence. In Finland earlier this month the company’s president, Akio Toyoda, tested a four-wheel-drive version of the GT86, adding to speculation that the Japanese manufacturer is considering a WRC comeback.