Tue 12 Jul 2022

Toyota turns the screw with faster Yaris

Toyota Gazoo Racing will bring a faster-than-ever GR Yaris Rally1 to this week’s Rally Estonia (14 - 17 July).

For rivals of the Japanese manufacturer, which tops the FIA World Rally Championship’s drivers’ and manufacturers’ standings and delivered a remarkable 1-2-3-4 finish at last month’s Safari Rally Kenya, this news might have them quaking to their very core.

The GR Yaris has been treated to an engine and aero upgrade ahead of what will be the season’s fastest rally to date and the first of two super-quick events in northern Europe.

The reason for the change, according to the Jyväskylä-based team’s technical director Tom Fowler, is simple.

“The Hyundai is faster than us in a straight line,” he said. “That means they have a better engine. Is it dramatically different or better? Well, if it’s a measurable difference then it’s a difference and that’s something to work on.”

Fowler wouldn’t be specific on which parts would be new beneath the bonnet of the Yaris, but did add that the rear wing change wasn’t significant.

“The rear wing is something on the balance of the car,” he added. “It’s a small re-adjustment.

“For the engine, as you can imagine, we collect a lot of data on these cars and we’ve seen that if you want a car for the straight line, you want a Hyundai. But if there are some corners in there, you want a Toyota.

“It’s not just the engine [for Hyundai], we know they have Ott [Tänak] with a home advantage here and Thierry [Neuville] has the same in Belgium.

“They’re going to be strong in the next few rallies. I think we all know there are some long straights and maybe a few less corners in the next three [WRC rounds].”

• Full coverage from Rally Estonia will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park

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