Wednesday | 22 Apr 2020

Toyota’s new Yaris stays silent

FIA rally director Yves Matton says he can understand Toyota Gazoo Racing’s desire to test its all-new 2021 GR Yaris World Rally Car – but confirmed the current testing ban will remain in place for all teams.

Given varying regional restrictions on lockdown rules during the current Coronavirus, the FIA banned all WRC testing by factory teams in an attempt to maintain a level playing field.

Hyundai and M-Sport Ford are unable to run their cars at the moment but restrictions in Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Finland base aren’t as stringent and the team could run its Yaris.

With a completely new car coming next season, to mirror the new Yaris road car due to be launched this autumn, Toyota had started running the 2021 machine in Finland and Spain. It will now remain silent until June 1 at the earliest.

Matton told website DirtFish.com: “I can understand [Toyota’s point] on this very well on a marketing point of view, but I can understand the other manufacturers as well.

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“I know that testing the new car can also bring information for the current one. If you are able to transfer data and information from the test to the current car then it’s bringing you an advantage.”

Matton said the current test ban remained in the best interests of the wider championship.

“We need,” he added, “to have a clear view in the interest of all the stakeholders and the interest of the championship is that nobody can take an advantage on the other one in this crisis period.

“That’s why we took the decision and we asked the WRC Commission and World Motor Sport Council to ban testing for the moment,” he added.

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