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Press Kits

MOTORSPORT PRESS KIT

  1. WELCOME
  2. TOYOTA EXPANDS MOTORSPORT PROGRAM FOR 2008
  3. 50 YEARS OF TOYOTA MOTORSPORT
  4. TRD BRAND AND MOTORSPORT HERITAGE
  5. ALL-OUT ATTACK AS TRD AIMS FOR THREEPEAT
  6. TRD RALLY DRIVER AND CO-DRIVER PROFILES
  7. TRD SUPER 2000 COROLLA SPECIFICATIONS
  8. TRD AURION SECURES HISTORIC CLASS VICTORY
  9. TARGA TASMANIA DRIVER AND CO-DRIVER PROFILES
  10. TOYOTA'S TARGA WITH A DIFFERENCE
  11. TRD AURION - RACE CAR SPECIFICATIONS
  12. TOYOTA JOINS AUSSIE RACING CARS SUPER SERIES
  13. AUSSIE RACING CAR SPECIFICATIONS
  14. TOYOTA NO DRAG
  15. TONY WEDLOCK PROFILE
  16. TRD DRAG CAR SPECIFICATIONS
  17. DRIFT STAR A SPRINTER
  18. AE86 SPRINTER SPECIFICATIONS
  19. OFF-ROAD RAGE
  20. TRD JIMCO BUGGY SPECIFICATIONS
  21. TOYOTA UNLEASHES V6 HILUX HEROES
  22. V6 HILUX SPECIFICATIONS
  23. PROFILE: RICK BATES
  24. PROFILE: ROD BROWNING
  25. PROFILE: MICK GUEST
  26. PROFILE: PAUL GOODWIN
  27. PROFILE: LAWRENCE RYAN
  28. PROFILE: DAVE SHANNON
  29. PROFILE: JACK MONKHOUSE
  30. TATNELL STARS AGAIN FOR TOYOTA
  31. EVANS RUNS 'RINGS AROUND COMPETITION
  32. COROLLA SPORTIVO NÜRBURGRING SPECIFICATIONS
  33. TOYOTA WINS AGAIN AT BATHURST
  34. KNIGHT CROWNED CHAMPION
  35. TRS CAR SPECIFICATIONS
  36. TOYOTA KEEPS ITS SPOTS
  37. TF108 GENERATES TOYOTA TURNAROUND
  38. JARNO TRULLI AND TIMO GLOCK PROFILES
  39. TF108 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
  40. TOYOTA JOINS GOOD OLE' BOYS
  41. TOYOTA SPRINTS TO THE FRONT
  42. JOE GIBBS RACING
  43. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING
  44. TEAM RED BULL
  45. BILL DAVIS RACING
  46. HALL OF FAME RACING
  47. NASCAR SPRINT CUP CAMRY SPECIFICATIONS

WELCOME


Welcome to Toyota Australia's biggest and busiest year in motorsport.

Toyota Australia has a long and proud motorsport history, and in 2008 we have not only expanded our program into new and exciting categories, but have built on lessons learnt through decades of development and racing.

In 2007 Toyota celebrated 50 years in motorsport and reflected on the hard-earned successes of drivers and teams both past and present.

Therefore, our 51st year in 2008 was the best time to break new ground and further our commitment and support of domestic motorsport.

Team TRD Rally has long been the flagship of our domestic motorsport focus, and while Neal Bates and Simon Evans continue to dominate in the forest, we are ex cited to also focus our attention on a diverse range of teams and technically challenging series.

Toyota has been involved in more races, in more places, than any other brand in the last 50 years. 2008 has seen the start of a new chapter and we continue to enjoy racing and the spirit of competition.

Thankyou for your support.

Todd Connolly
Toyota Australia Motorsport Manager

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TOYOTA EXPANDS MOTORSPORT PROGRAM FOR 2008


Toyota Australia is having a bumper year in domestic motorsport in 2008 with a significant expansion of its racing activities breaking new and exciting ground for the brand.

The Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Rally Team - fresh from back-to-back Australian Rally Championship (ARC) titles in 2006 and 07 - is chasing a three-peat in 2008 with a pair of Super 2000 Corollas.

The TRD S2000 Corollas have been joined in the ARC this year by two privateer-run Group N (P) Corollas.

Young-gun Glen Raymond and experienced campaigner Stewart Reid are both competing in the 2008 ARC season using ex-TRD Corollas.

In April, former outright winners Neal Bates and Coral Taylor and the TRD crew turned their attention to Targa Tasmania in a welcome return to tarmac rallying for Toyota using a race-spec TRD Aurion.

The duo was joined by Simon Evans who competed in a near-standard TRD Aurion, alongside a variety of celebrities who each spent one day of the six-day tarmac event acting as his co-driver.

Each celebrity was coached by 2007 Motor Sport Personality of the Year and 2006/07 ARC co-driver champion Sue Evans.

Targa competitor Rick Bates is directing an exciting new motorsport show in 2008 with the arrival of the V6 HiLux Heroes stunt driving team, featuring multiple Guinness World Record-holding stunt driver Lawrence 'The Legend' Ryan.

The V6 HiLux Heroes have been part of some of the biggest local and metropolitan show days in 2008 - including the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show - and will continue to wow the crowds around the country with stunts and formation driving.

Toyota has also put an end to long-running media speculation by announcing its entry into the Aussie Racing Cars Series with the TRD Aurion, making it the first manufacturer to directly support one of Australia's most exciting racing categories.

The TRD brand also has a strong presence in drag racing in 2008 thanks to the Ultimate Motorsports team and their TRD Pro Factory Extreme drag car that accelerates from 0-100km/h in less than one second.

Piloted by former Australian champion Tony Wedlock, local fans will get to see a Toyota blasting down a drag strip at more than 350km/h.

2006 Australian Drift Champion Beau Yates' 1984 Toyota Sprinter may be a little slower in a straight line than Wedlock's Camry, but it still burns a fair amount of rubber.

Nicknamed 'The Show', 25-year-old Yates outpaced and out-styled everyone in 2006 and is back in 2008 to again show that the age of a car is no barrier to success in one of the world's fastest-growing motorsport categories.

Toyota Australia also has a presence in the Australian Off Road Championship, the famed Nürburgring 24-hour race and the Australian Sprint Car series.

It is also turning out to be a strong year internationally for Toyota, with Formula 1 team Panasonic Toyota Racing signing reigning GP2 champion Timo Glock as team-mate to experienced Italian Jarno Trulli.

There is also an expanded NASCAR Sprint Cup program in the United States where Toyota has already tasted success in the season's early races.

Toyota Australia's motorsport manager Todd Connolly is excited that Toyota is bringing motorsport to so many people across the country in so many different categories.

"In 2008 Toyota has unleashed a new level of excitement for its products, thanks to a fantastically diverse range of motorsport activities," Mr Connolly said.

"It is our biggest motorsport program ever and demonstrates that quality, durability and reliability are as essential in the cut and thrust of motorsport as they are when you buy a normal road car.

"These activities are also taking us to audiences we may not reach with our existing programs, particularly through the V6 HiLux Heroes in regional Australia."

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50 YEARS OF TOYOTA MOTORSPORT


Toyota celebrated 50 years of involvement in motorsport during 2007.

1950s
Toyota's five decades of motorsport began in 1957 when it entered its first international event, the 17,000-kilometre Round Australia Trial, with Toyopet Toyota Crowns.

The following year a Toyopet Crown won the Round Japan Rally - the company's first competition win.

These first forays into motorsport were the responsibility of two Toyota vehicle preparation companies: Toyopet Maintenance Company Ltd (founded in 1954) and Toyopet Service Centre Company Ltd, or TOSCO (which succeeded the first entity in 1964 and would later become TRD).

1960s
TOSCO oversaw the legendary 2000GT's successful bid to establish a new world record in speed trials in 1966 - the same year the company manufactured a re-modelled 2000GT to appear in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice.

Meanwhile in Australia, the Hardie Ferodo 500 (miles) was being run at the Mt Panorama circuit under its new sponsor's name. Previously the event was called the Armstrong 500 and subsequently Gallagher 500.

Two Toyota Corolla Sprinters were competing in Class A. At that time classes were divided according to the price of the car, so the Corollas were in a class for cars costing up to $1,800.

They triumphed with a first and second in class. Bruce Hindhaugh and Bob Morris were in position 30 overall, with Barry Ferguson and Brian Sampson in 32nd position.

In 1969 a Toyota 7 sports-prototype won Japan's prestigious Fuji 1000-kilometre race.

1970s
Internationally, Toyota's attention turned to rally.

In 1972 Toyota Team Europe (TTE) was started and Toyota entered its first World Rally Championship (WRC) event with a Celica coupe.

Three years later legendary Finnish driver Hannu Mikkola scored Toyota's first WRC win in a Corolla Levin Coupe twin-cam 1600 in the 1975 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland.

The following year, TOSCO was renamed Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and within the next decade TRD would enjoy success at some of the most famous events across North America, Japan and Australia.

At the 1978 James Hardie 1000 in Australia, Peter Williamson and Mike Quinn finished second in Class C (under 2000cc) and 11th overall driving a Toyota Celica. The following year the pair finished ninth overall and won Class C at Bathurst.

1980s
1985 saw a TRD-powered Celica take Toyota's first win in the GTU class of the IMSA sportscar series at Laguna Seca in the United States.

Just two years later a Celica Turbo claimed the outright IMSA manufacturers' and drivers' titles with victory in the GTO class.

TRD had more American success off-road in 1988 when it won manufacturers' and drivers' titles in the United States MTEG stadium truck series.

In Australia, Toyota Celicas won their class at the Bathurst 1000 event six times in succession between 1985 and 1990.

1990s
In 1990 the new Celica GT-Four powered Carlos Sainz to Toyota's first ever World Rally Championship.

Sainz and Celica won the world championship again in 1992, while the following year Finnish ace Juha Kankkunen joined the Toyota team and won the title.

In 1994 Toyota again won both the WRC manufacturers' and drivers' titles - this time with Didier Auriol.

In 1992 a TS010 sports-prototype became the first Toyota to finish on the podium at Le Mans.

Masanori Sekiya also became the first Japanese driver to climb the podium at the prestigious event.

Toyota dominated American sportscar racing in 1992 and 1993, with Juan Manuel Fangio II taking the Eagle Mark III to back-to-back IMSA manufacturers' and drivers' titles.

Fangio's All American Racers team-mates - PJ Jones, Rocky Moran and Mark Dismore - took the Eagle Mark III to victory in the famous Daytona 24 Hours in 1993.

It was also the year that Neal Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor won the first of three successive Australian Rally Championship titles in a Celica GT-Four.

A version of the GT-Four was also used by Bates and Taylor to win the 1995 Targa Tasmania.

In 1994, TRD Japan began developing Toyota Supras to compete in the Japanese GT Championship. The Supras won numerous races and championships over 12 seasons.

The Supra campaign culminated in 2005 with TRD developing a new Lexus SC 430-based car for 2006. The new vehicle won on debut at the Suzuka circuit in the first round of that year's championship.

In the US, TRD turned its attention to the daunting Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

With New Zealander Rod Millen driving, TRD won five outright championships and eight class victories. Amazingly, Millen's record time up the 19.98-kilometre, 156-turn dirt road set in 1994 in a TRD-powered all-wheel-drive Celica was only beaten in 2007, highlighting the Kiwi's domination of the legendary race.

In 1996 TRD began supplying engines to the CART open-wheel racing series, based in America.

Scott Pruett scored TRD's first pole position in CART in 1999 in California, while Juan Pablo Montoya scored TRD's first win at the Milwaukee Mile the following season.

In Europe, Toyota returned to Le Mans in 1998 and 1999 with the GT-One. In 1999 the car took pole position, won its class and finished second overall.

2000 onwards
In 2002 Brazilian Cristiano da Matta took the CART title with an impressive seven wins and seven pole positions.

Fresh from its successful return to Le Mans, Toyota Team Europe (TTE) immediately began planning an entry into Formula One. On its Formula One debut in March 2002 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Toyota scored sixth place and one point.

In 2003, TRD moved from CART to the rival Indy Racing League (IRL) series with immediate success. Toyota engines powered Scott Dixon to championship glory and Gil de Ferran to victory in the famous Indy 500 in their first season.

Toyota entered the world of stock car racing in 2004, with TRD-prepared Tundras competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

In 2007 Toyota entered NASCAR's premier class - the Nextel (now Sprint) Cup - with a stock car based on its Camry sedan.

By the start of the 2008 season Toyota's Cup Series Camry was on the pace, qualifying on the front row for February's Daytona 500 and winning its first top-tier race only weeks later with Denny Hamlin.

In Australia Colin Osborne raced a Group E Celica in the production series with class wins from 2001-06 inclusive and outright wins in 2002 and 2005.

The same car was run at the Bathurst 24-hour race for production cars in 2003 and won its class with Colin Osborne, Trevor Keen and John Roecken (a Toyota employee).

The feat was repeated in 2007 and 2008 at the Bathurst 12-hour race, with Neal Bates joining Keen and Roecken in the Group E Celica.

Osborne has also taken a Corolla Sportivo Group E car to Germany's Nürburgring for the annual 24-hour event since 2006 and returned in 2008 with two-time Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans.

Despite the fact this Corolla is far less modified than the SP3 race rules allow, it has finished as high as 77th out of 235 cars.

In rallying during 2006, Neal Bates' newly formed Team TRD took the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) drivers' and manufacturers' crowns driving Group N (P) Corollas.

TRD's Simon Evans became the first driver in ARC Super Series history to win every heat in a season in 2007. This enabled Toyota to secure outright victory in the ARC for the year.

Neal Bates finished second in the Australian Rally Championship in 2007 in a Toyota Corolla S2000.

In 2008 Simon and co-driver Sue Evans have switched to an S2000 Corolla to contest the series, delivering the first-ever S2000 heat win at the season-opening Forest Rally in Western Australia.

Fittingly, Neal Bates gave the car its first outright victory in the very same event, before backing up to win round two and his home event, the Rally of Canberra.

...ends/

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TRD BRAND AND MOTORSPORT HERITAGE


Toyota's global performance arm Toyota Racing Development (TRD) was introduced into Australia in 2007, bringing a new level of passion and excitement to Toyota Australia's motorsport and new performance vehicle range.

A division of Toyota Technocraft, TRD has been synonymous with success in the world of motorsport with victories in some of the world's most prestigious events.

TRD was created out of two Toyota vehicle preparation companies: Toyopet Maintenance Company Ltd (founded in 1954) and Toyopet Service Centre Company Ltd, or TOSCO (which succeeded the first entity in 1964).

These companies oversaw Toyota's first forays into motorsport, the very first of which was in Australia when a Toyopet-prepared Crown entered the 17,000-kilometre Round Australia Trial in 1957.

TRD has built a rich motorsport and performance car heritage since these humble beginnings and is the name behind some of Toyota's greatest motorsport moments, including world rallying, the Le Mans 24-Hour and the Indianapolis 500.

TRD engines power Toyota Camrys and Tundras in the US-based NASCAR series and in Japan TRD is a major part of the Super GT championship - one of the most hotly contested sports car championships in the world.

The brand is also synonymous with the development of high-performance parts in Japan and the United States for both racing and road cars.

Toyota Australia has taken this concept one step further by becoming the first TRD franchise to manufacture TRD-branded production vehicles.

These vehicles not only feature TRD-tuned performance parts, but incorporate external and internal TRD styling enhancements.

The first production car in the world to boast the TRD badge was the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 TRD Aurion sedan. Recently it has been joined by the new 4.0-litre supercharged V6 TRD HiLux utility.

TRD's presence in domestic motorsport is also rapidly increasing, thanks largely to the successes of the TRD Rally Team, led by three-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates and defending and two-time champion Simon Evans.

Team TRD has so far delivered back-to-back drivers' and manufacturers' championships in 2006 and 2007 and is on course for a hat-trick of titles in 2008.

TRD is also spreading its motorsport involvement in Australia into emerging categories such as drifting and the Aussie Racing Series, while also assisting competitors in drag, off-road and sprint car racing.

...ends/

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ALL-OUT ATTACK AS TRD AIMS FOR THREEPEAT


The TRD Rally Team has stared the 2008 Australian Rally Championship (ARC) season aiming to win three consecutive drivers' and manufacturers' titles in a year that is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory.

Reigning and now two-time ARC champion Simon Evans has joined three-time series winner Neal Bates in a pair of Super 2000-spec Corollas, marking the first time Toyota has run two S2000 cars in the championship.

Evans completed a clean-sweep of the 2007 ARC season, becoming the first driver to win every heat and event in a season.

The 2008 season marks the first time he has driven for the TRD Rally Team in anything but a Group N (P) Corolla - a car the team retired at the end of last season following Evans' second title victory.

"Last season was obviously a dream come true and a just reward for everyone in the team and the tireless work they put in all season," Evans said.

"We start this year on zero points and with a new car so we won't take anything for granted.

"Sue and I are rallying with the S2000 Corolla for the first time and we are highly motivated to win our third championship.

"On paper the competition looks stronger than last year, so we are going to have to be on top of our game. We certainly won't be resting on our laurels."

Team boss Neal Bates spent the 2007 season developing the S2000 Corolla and, thanks to his and the team's ongoing efforts, he and co-driver Coral Taylor did enough to claim second overall behind the Evans duo.

Bates is excited to be running two S2000 cars and believes that although it will be a tough season, Toyota will still be the team to beat.

"People look at this year and think it's going to be easy for our team, but I actually think it's going to be extremely tough," he said.

"With Michael Guest now in a Subaru, Spencer Lowndes running full-time and Darren Windus again in the fold, I think they will all be challenging us at the front."

Evans and Bates will also have increased competition from within the Toyota ranks, as privateers Stewart Reid and Glen Raymond are both contesting the 2008 season in ex-TRD Group N (P) Corollas.

Former Privateer Cup Champion Reid has returned in the ex-Bates Corolla he bought two years ago, while Raymond acquired the TRD team's former test car in the off-season and is enjoying competing in a frontline car.

The 2008 Australian Rally Championship will be decided over six rounds and concludes in Coffs Harbour in early November.

...ends/

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TRD RALLY DRIVER AND CO-DRIVER PROFILES


SIMON EVANS

Born: 17 June 1972
Lives: Nar Nar Goon, Vic
Status: Married to Sue

Simon Evans is among the favourites of Australian motorsport. Throughout his career, Simon has established a reputation as being somewhat of a "wild child" on the Australian rally scene.

Known for his aggressive, spectacular driving style and blinding speed, Evans has now cemented his spot among Australian rallying elite by claiming back-to-back Australian Rally Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Evans toned down his aggressive approach and has driven in a measured and mature manner throughout the last two seasons.

In 2007 his performance reached a new level as he became the first driver in Australian Rally Championship history to win every heat and every round in a season, confirming his position as the best rally driver in the country.

Simon and his co-driver wife Sue joined Neal Bates' operation at the start of the 2004 championship.

In their debut season with TRD in 2004, Simon and Sue set the forests alight and took the championship battle down to the wire before finishing in third place.

Evans was actually leading the drivers' championship before a frightening crash in the Safari Rally Tasmania saw his Corolla slide into a tree stump, resulting in a broken leg for the driver.

A remarkable recovery saw a tentative Evans return to rallying just one month later, and he went on to claim third in the championship.

The Evans crew again finished third in 2005, before their breakthrough season in 2006 saw them secure a dominant title victory.

As a youngster, Simon progressed rapidly through club level to the State championship and in 1995 stepped up to the ARC in the new Corolla Cup, created by Toyota to give young drivers a chance to shine.

Simon was almost unbeatable in the one-make series, and totally dominated the first two seasons. Toyota rewarded him with a drive in the Rally of Canberra in a Group N Celica GT-Four prepared by Neal Bates Motorsport, which started a lasting friendship with Neal Bates and Coral Taylor.

After Sue joined Simon as co-driver, the pair then went on to a factory Formula 2 drive with Volkswagen, winning the class in the 1999 Australian Rally Championship and the 2000 Asia-Pacific Championship.

With the loss of factory support for 2001, Simon's father Peter stepped in and provided the first of a series of Impreza WRXs that they ran privately, but always very quickly.

The Evans duo often topped the stage times, but bad luck had prevented them from winning an ARC round until the 2003 NGK Rally of Melbourne - where they climbed the podium to wild acclaim from the home fans.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1995 1st Toyota Corolla Cup - Australian Rally Championship
1996 1st - Toyota Corolla Cup - Australian Rally Championship
1999 1st - Formula 2 Class - Australian Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2000 1st - Formula 2 Class - Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2002 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2003 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2004 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2005 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2006 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)


Q&A
MY FAVOURITE RALLY IS...
Coates Rally Queensland

THE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT RALLYING IS...
Scaring myself silly

IF I COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN RALLYING IT WOULD BE...
More events - tarmac and snow

MY CO-DRIVER IS...
Small

MY FIRST CAR WAS A...
Datsun 1000

MY CURRENT CAR IS A...
Toyota HiLux SR5

WHEN I AM NOT RALLYING I...
Work as a concreter

WHEN PEOPLE MEET ME THEY ARE MOST SURPRISED BY...
My big nose

IF I COULD BE ANYONE FOR A DAY IT WOULD BE...
Australian WRC driver Chris Atkinson

MY ULTIMTE ADVENTURE WOULD BE...
Baja 1000

MY FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL IS...
Theme parks on the Gold Coast

______________________________________________________________

SUE EVANS

Born: 20 June 1972
Lives: Nar Nar Goon, Vic
Status: Married to Simon

In partnership with her husband, Sue Evans forms one-half of one of the most popular and fastest rally crews in the country.

Simon and Sue, who were born just three days apart, were high school sweethearts in Pakenham just beyond the Melbourne suburban fringe and married in 1995 at the age of 23.

They had become friends through having adjoining lockers at school - although Sue says she hated him at first because he always dropped things on her head. They also had a shared background in motorsport.

Sue's father raced speedway and Simon's father was into rallying, so it was no surprise that the two 19-year-olds ventured into the sport in 1991 - both as drivers initially.

Sue, however, crashed her Datsun on her very first event and, as Simon showed ability honed from driving since the age of eight, decided to sit back and support her man from the sidelines.

Sue became Simon's co-driver in 1999 and - despite a tense start when Sue was rendered speechless for the first four stages of their first event together - they enjoyed a giant-killing couple of seasons with Formula 2 class victories in a Volkswagen Golf in the ARC and the Asia-Pacific championships.

After Volkswagen withdrew from rallying, Simon and Sue ran privateer Subaru Impreza WRXs, culminating in a hugely popular victory in their home event at the NGK Rally of Melbourne in 2003.

Having had to endure financial torture to keep competing, including selling the family home and Sue's car, the Evans' welcomed the move to the factory Toyota team. They made an immediate impact, winning their first event in WA and leading the championship until mid-season when Simon crashed heavily in Tasmania and broke his leg.

However, the pair rebounded well and in 2006 they secured their first championship at their home event, the NGK Rally of Melbourne. The duo's undoubted potential had finally begun to be been realised.

Not content with winning one title, Sue and Simon clinched back-to-back titles by creating Australian Rally Championship history in 2007, becoming the first co-driver and driver to win every heat and every round in a season.

Simon and Sue have two children: son Jackson, 12, and nine-year-old daughter Eden.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1999 1st - Formula 2 Class - Australian Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2000 1st - Formula 2 Class - Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2002 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2003 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2004 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2005 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2006 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)


Q&A
FAVOURITE RALLY
NGK Rally of Melbourne

THE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT RALLYING IS...
The adrenalin rush

IF I COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN RALLYING IT WOULD BE...
To make the events longer

MY DRIVER IS...
Adorable, like a bald Humphrey B. Bear

MY FIRST CAR WAS A...
Datsun 1200

MY CURRENT CAR IS A...
Toyota Kluger Grande

WHEN I AM NOT RALLYING I...
Hang with my kids

WHEN PEOPLE MEET ME THEY ARE MOST SURPRISED BY...
How short I am

IF I COULD BE ANYONE FOR A DAY IT WOULD BE...
Angelina Jolie

MY ULTIMTE ADVENTURE WOULD BE...
To go into the pyramids

MY FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL IS...
Coffs Harbour

______________________________________________________________

NEAL BATES

Born: 19 March 1965
Lives: Royalla, NSW
Status: Married to Jane

Triple Australian rally champion Neal Bates is one of the most successful and popular drivers in the sport's history and has been an ambassador for Toyota for more than 15 years.

Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor were the first crew to win three successive Australian Rally Championships, driving Toyota Celicas to victory in 1993, '94 and '95.

In 2006 and 2007 the duo placed second overall in the championship behind team-mates Simon and Sue Evans.

Bates and Taylor's second place in 2007 was a remarkable achievement, given they spent the season developing the team's new S2000 Corolla. They became the first crew in the history of the Australian Rally Championship to win stages and finish on the podium in an S2000 car.

Bates was something of a prodigy when he first stepped into a rally car at the age of 18 in 1984 and caught the eye of Toyota Australia with his exploits in an early model Celica. He was invited to take part in the 1989 Toyota Star Search circuit racing program and, despite limited bitumen experience, won his class at Bathurst driving a works Corolla. When Toyota decided to run a new Celica GT-Four in rallying, Bates was the natural choice as driver.

Together, Bates and Taylor tackled the ARC with a succession of Celica and Corolla rally cars, until new rules forced them out for a season to produce a new car.

The successful partnership was restored in 2003 with the formation of Toyota Team Racing (now TRD), running a pair of Corolla Sportivos under the new Group N (Prototype) regulations. Developing the new cars as he went, Neal finished the championship in eighth place and improved to sixth in 2004 and 2005.

Neal's talents have been recognised internationally by Toyota Team Europe (TTE), which gave him the opportunity to compete in some local region rounds of the World Rally Championship. He competed in his first International Rally with TTE in 1991 at Rally Australia and in 1996 finished an amazing sixth outright in the New Zealand WRC round.

A natural all-rounder, Neal has performed well when given a chance to compete on the blacktop and has contested the Bathurst 1000 eleven times, finishing in the top 10 twice. He also won the 1995 Targa Tasmania outright driving a Toyota Celica GT-Four and scored three successive class wins with a Lexus IS200 in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

He had another tilt at Targa in 2008, where he and Taylor again teamed up, this time behind the wheel of a specially prepared TRD Aurion.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1989 1st - Toyota Star Search
1989 1st in Class - Bathurst 1000 (Toyota Corolla)
1991 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica SX)
1992 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1993 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185)
1993 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1994 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 & Celica GT-Four ST205)
1994 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1995 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st Outright - Targa Tasmania (Toyota Celica GT-Four)
1996 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1997 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 & Toyota Corolla WRC)
1998 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2000 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2000 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2001 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2001 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2006 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)
2006 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)
2007 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Super 2000)
2008 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)

Q&A
FAVOURITE RALLY...
NGK Rally of Melbourne

THE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT RALLYING IS...
Sliding a car through a corner: nothing beats sideways action

IF I COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN RALLYING IT WOULD BE...
Adding another 10 manufacturers

MY CO-DRIVER IS...
A chatterbox

MY FIRST CAR WAS A...
Datsun 1500 ute

MY CURRENT CAR IS A...
Toyota LC200 Turbo Diesel

WHEN I AM NOT RALLYING I...
Love water-skiing

WHEN PEOPLE MEET ME THEY ARE MOST SURPRISED BY...
The fact I am an ordinary, down-to-earth person

IF I COULD BE ANYONE FOR A DAY IT WOULD BE...
Sebastian Loeb

MY ULTIMTE ADVENTURE WOULD BE...
Trekking across the North Pole

MY FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL IS...
Australia

_____________________________________________________________

CORAL TAYLOR

Born: 20 February 1961
Lives: Arcadia, NSW
Status: Married to Mark

Coral Taylor is one of the most successful women in the history of Australian motorsport.

The daughter of rally veteran Norm Fritter, she made her motorsport debut at the age of 18 as co-driver for her father in the gruelling 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial, sparking a passion that has not waned since.

She won her first rally as a co-driver for Peter Glennie in 1986 and began her association with Toyota in 1993, where she teamed up with Neal Bates to rewrite the local record books.

The two won the Australian Rally Championship at their first attempt and then backed up to win the next two years, becoming the first pairing in Australian rally history to have won three consecutive rally championships.

It was a dream start to her new career with Toyota.

Coral and Neal went on to win several individual rallies in the following six years, finishing runners-up in the championship five times.

A change in the rules in 2001 forced them out of the ARC for a year while the team built a new car, but the pair returned in 2003 and finished sixth in the 2004 and 2005 championships.

The 2006 season saw Neal and Coral return to the winner's circle at the Capital Rally on the way to finishing the season second in the standings.

In 2007 Coral and Neal started a new chapter in the ARC by developing a new Super 2000-spec Corolla, remarkably finishing second in the championship and becoming the first crew to win stages and finish on the podium in an S2000 car.

Their successful partnership has not been restricted to the gravel.

They have also tasted success on the bitumen in the Targa Tasmania road race, taking outright victory in 1995 with a Toyota Celica GT-Four and following up with three successive class wins from 1999 to 2001 in a Lexus IS200.

The pair will head back to Targa in 2008 with a race version of Toyota's new TRD Aurion performance car.

As well as being co-driver for Neal, Coral is intimately involved in the daily running of the team as team logistics manager.

Well organised, methodical and a stickler for accuracy, she is responsible for the year-round coordination of the rally team's complex logistics, making sure everything and everyone is where they should be at any given minute all around the country.

Rallying in the Taylor household has also extended to the next generation, with daughter Molly winning the F16 division of the ARC in 2007 - her first full season in the championship.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1993 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185)
1994 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 & Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st Outright - Targa Tasmania (Toyota Celica GT-Four)
1996 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1997 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 & Toyota Corolla WRC)
1998 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2000 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2000 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2001 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2001 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2006 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Super 2000)

Q&A

MY FAVOURITE RALLY IS...
Rally SA

THE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT RALLYING IS...
The competition and the friendship

IF I COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT RALLYING IT WOULD BE...
The profile

MY DRIVER IS...
A lousy dancer, but at least he can drive

MY FIRST CAR WAS A...
Datsun 1200 Coupe

MY CURRENT CAR IS A...
Toyota LC200 Turbo Diesel

WHEN I AM NOT RALLYING I...
Like to go water-skiing

WHEN PEOPLE MEET ME THEY ARE MOST SURPRISED BY...
The fact that I drive the truck

IF I COULD BE ANYONE FOR A DAY IT WOULD BE...
Daniel Elena in Rally Finland

MY ULTIMTE ADVENTURE WOULD BE...
To drive a truck across America

MY FAVOURITE PLACE TO TRAVEL IS...
Europe (but it's been 25 years since I've been there)

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TRD SUPER 2000 COROLLA SPECIFICATIONS



Engine type: Naturally aspirated with 64mm throttle body
Designation:

3S-GE Breakthrough Engine Advanced Mechanisms (BEAMS)

Configuration: Four-cylinder, in-line, transverse location
Valve mechanism: Twin cam multi-valve
Fuel system: Sequential multi-point injection
Displacement: 2.0-litre
Bore x stroke (mm): 86 x 86
Compression ratio: 13:1
Max power: 190kW
Max torque: 240Nm
Driveline type:

Constant four-wheel drive with front, rear and centre limited-slip differentials (LSD) GearboxSADEV six-speed sequential

Steering system: Power-assisted rack and pinion
Front brakes: AP Racing 300mm diameter ventilated discs with aluminium four-piston calipers
Rear brakes: AP Racing 300mm diameter ventilated discs with aluminium four-piston calipers
Front suspension: Independent MacPherson strut with coil springs, double-acting gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar
Rear suspension:

Independent MacPherson strut with coil springs, double-acting gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

Wheels: 15 x 6.5in
Tyres: Michelin
Dimensions: Minimum dry weight1200kg
Overall length: 4175mm
Width: 1800mm
Height: 1515mm
Wheelbase: 2576mm
Front track: 1600mm
Rear track: 1600mm


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TRD AURION SECURES HISTORIC CLASS VICTORY


Team TRD rally driver Neal Bates scored an historic class victory in the 2008 Targa Tasmania tarmac rally in April, claiming the first major win for the TRD Aurion.

Three-time Australian rally champion Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor won a see-sawing battle over the V8-powered Monaro of Paul Freestone to claim victory in their class of the Modern Competition category.

The 1995 Targa-winning duo was victorious by just three seconds, winning an enduring event-long battle with Freestone on the final two stages of the event.

Bates was pleased to secure his fourth class victory in Targa and to give the supercharged, 3.5-litre V6-powered TRD Aurion a win against stiff competition.

He and Taylor finished 21st outright and secured their second victory in as many weeks following their win in the opening round of the 2008 Australian Rally Championship in Western Australia.

"I am absolutely over the moon to score a class victory for the TRD Aurion in its very first event," Bates said. "We had a really tough battle with Paul Freestone during the last couple of days and it is very satisfying to come out on top.

"Targa is such a special event. The Tasmanians really get behind it and the turnout in Hobart for the last stage was amazing.

"Targa has allowed the TRD Aurion to show its performance credentials and I am sure this class win will be the first of many victories for the car."

Team-mate Simon Evans was joined by a host of celebrity co-drivers throughout the event in his near-standard TRD Aurion.

Evans performed brilliantly throughout and the car was leading its class until a technical issue halted it just four stages from the end of the rally.

Until the final day, Evans' showroom-spec TRD Aurion had been leading its class and was running third in the Showroom 2WD category.

"For a showroom-standard car the TRD Aurion performed exceptionally well throughout Targa and surprised many people with its pace," Evans said.

"Targa is a unique event and it was great to see the Tasmanian people turn out in such strong numbers."

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TARGA TASMANIA DRIVER AND CO-DRIVER PROFILES


NEAL BATES

Born: 19 March 1965
Lives: Royalla, NSW
Status: Married to Jane

Former Targa Tasmania winner and triple Australian rally champion Neal Bates is one of the most successful and popular drivers in the sport's history and has been an ambassador for Toyota for more than 15 years.

Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor were the first crew to win three successive Australian Rally Championships, driving Toyota Celicas to victory in 1993, '94 and '95 as well as securing outright victory in the 1995 edition of Targa.

In 2006 and 2007 the duo placed second overall in the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) behind team-mates Simon and Sue Evans. Their 2007 result was a remarkable achievement, given they spent the season developing the team's new Super 2000 Corolla.

Bates became the first driver in the history of the ARC to win stages and finish on the podium in an S2000 car.

Although best known for his exploits on gravel, Bates has had a long and distinguished career in tarmac rallies and circuit events.

It all started when Bates was invited to take part in the 1989 Toyota Star Search circuit racing program following promising runs in an early model Celica in some rallies.

Despite his then-limited bitumen experience, Bates won his class at Bathurst driving a works Corolla.

That class win started an affinity with Australia's most revered circuit as Neal has contested the Bathurst 1000 11 times, finishing in the top 10 twice.

He has also recorded six class victories in the Bathurst 12-hour endurance race, recording class pole position, fastest lap and victory for the last two years.

His outright victory in Targa Tasmania in 1995 was achieved driving a Toyota Celica GT-Four, and he also scored three successive class wins with a Lexus IS200 in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Neal's talents have been also recognised internationally by Toyota Team Europe, which gave him the opportunity to compete in rounds of the World Rally Championship.

He competed in his first International Rally with TTE in 1991 at Rally Australia and in 1996 finished an amazing sixth outright in the New Zealand WRC round.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1989 1st - Toyota Star Search
1989 1st in Class - Bathurst 1000 (Toyota Corolla)
1991 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica SX)
1992 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1993 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185)
1993 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1994 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 &
Celica GT-Four ST205)
1994 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota MR2)
1995 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st Outright - Targa Tasmania (Toyota Celica GT-4)
1996 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1997 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 & Toyota Corolla WRC)
1998 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2000 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2000 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2001 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2001 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2006 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)
2006 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)
2007 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Super 2000)
2008 1st in Class - Bathurst 12 Hour (Toyota Celica)

_____________________________________________________________

CORAL TAYLOR

Born: 20 February 1961
Lives: Arcadia, NSW
Status: Married to Mark

Coral Taylor is one of the most successful women in the history of Australian motorsport.

She has secured three Australian rally championships with team-mate Neal Bates and the pair also scored outright victory in the 1995 edition of Targa Tasmania.

While Taylor is best known for her success on gravel, Taylor and Bates stormed to victory in 1995's Targa tarmac classic competing in a Toyota Celica GT-Four.

The pair then followed up with three successive class wins from 1999 to 2001 in a Lexus IS200.

The daughter of rally veteran Norm Fritter, Coral Taylor made her motorsport debut at the age of 18 as co-driver for her father in the gruelling 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial, sparking a passion that has not waned since.

She won her first rally as a co-driver for Peter Glennie in 1986 and began her association with Toyota in 1993, when she teamed up with Neal Bates to rewrite the local record books.

The duo won the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) at their first attempt and then backed up to win the next two years.

Taylor and Bates ran at the head of the ARC field in both world rally-spec Celica GT-Fours and Corollas until 2001, when a rule change forced them out of the ARC for a year while the team built a new car.

However, the pair returned in 2003 with a brand-new car and finished sixth in the 2004 and 2005 championships before returning to the top step of the podium at the 2006 Capital Rally in Canberra on the way to finishing the season second in the standings.

In 2007 Coral and Neal started a new chapter in the ARC by developing a new Super 2000-spec Corolla, remarkably finishing second in the championship and becoming the first crew to win stages and finish on the podium in a S2000 car.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1993 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185)
1994 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 & Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1995 1st Outright - Targa Tasmania (Toyota Celica GT-Four)
1996 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205)
1997 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205 & Toyota Corolla WRC)
1998 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
1999 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2000 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2000 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2001 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla WRC)
2001 1st in Class - Targa Tasmania (Lexus IS200)
2006 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2007 2nd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Super 2000)

_____________________________________________________________

SIMON EVANS

Born: 17 June 1972
Lives: Nar Nar Goon, Vic
Status: Married to Sue

Simon Evans is among the public favourites of Australian motorsport and was named Motor Sport Personality of the Year in 2003.

Known for his aggressive, spectacular driving style and blinding speed, Evans has cemented his spot among the Australian rallying elite by claiming back-to-back Australian Rally Championship (ARC) titles in 2006 and 2007.

Evans toned down the aggressive approach that was a feature of his driving before he joined Toyota and has driven in a measured and mature manner throughout the last two seasons, reaching unseen levels of performance in the 2007 season.

He and his co-driver wife Sue became the first pairing in ARC history to win every heat and every round in a season - claiming victory in all 12 heats and at all six rounds behind the wheel of their turbo-charged Corolla.

The Evans duo joined the TRD Rally operation at the start of the 2004 championship, immediately taking the title fight down to the wire before finishing in third place. This was a remarkable feat given the duo were actually leading the championship before a frightening crash in Rally Tasmania saw their Corolla slide into a tree stump, resulting in a broken leg for Simon.

The Evans crew was again third in 2005, before their breakthrough season in 2006 saw them secure a dominant title victory.

The country's number-one rally driver is also no stranger to tarmac and has competed previously in Targa Tasmania and in numerous international events.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1995 1st - Toyota Corolla Cup - Australian Rally Championship
1996 1st - Toyota Corolla Cup - Australian Rally Championship
1999 1st - Formula 2 Class - Australian Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2000 1st - Formula 2 Class - Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2002 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2003 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2004 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - Prototype)
2005 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2006 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - Prototype)
2007 1st Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - Prototype)

______________________________________________________________

SUE EVANS

Born: 20 June 1972
Lives: Nar Nar Goon, Vic
Status: Married to Simon

In partnership with her husband Simon, Sue Evans forms one half of one of the most popular and fastest rally crews in the country.

The current Australian Motor Sport Personality of the Year and the winner of the 2006 and 2007 Australian Rally Championship (ARC) co-driver titles, Sue is one of the leading women on the Australian motorsport scene.

Born just three days after Simon, the pair were high school sweethearts in Pakenham on the suburban fringe of Melbourne and also enjoyed a mutual passion for motorsport. They married in 1995 at the age of 23.

The pair ventured into the sport in 1991 as teenagers, initially both as drivers.

However, Sue crashed on her very first event and as Simon showed ability honed from driving since the age of eight, she decided to sit back and support her man from the sidelines.

Sue became Simon's co-driver in 1999 and - despite a tense start when Sue was rendered speechless for the first four stages of their first event together - they enjoyed a giant-killing couple of seasons with Formula 2 class victories in a factory-backed Volkswagen Golf in the ARC and the Asia-Pacific championships.

After competing for a few seasons in a Subaru and enduring financial torture to keep their dream alive, Sue and Simon welcomed the move to the factory Toyota team in 2004 where they made an immediate impact, winning their first event in Western Australia and leading the championship until mid-season when Simon crashed heavily in Tasmania and broke his leg.

However, the pair rebounded well and by 2006 they had secured their first championship - the win fittingly came at their home event in Melbourne.

Not content with winning one title, Sue and Simon clinched back-to-back titles and created ARC history in 2007, becoming the first co-driver and driver to win every heat and every round in a season.

Simon and Sue have two children: son Jackson, 12, and nine-year-old daughter Eden.

ACHIEVEMENTS
1999 1st - Formula 2 Class - Australian Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2000 1st - Formula 2 Class - Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (VW Golf F2)
2002 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2003 2nd - Privateers Cup - Australian Rally Championship (Subaru Impreza WRX)
2004 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - (Prototype)
2005 3rd - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N -Prototype)
2006 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - Prototype)
2007 1st - Australian Rally Championship (Toyota Corolla Group N - Prototype)
2007 Australian Motor Sport Personality of the Year

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TOYOTA'S TARGA WITH A DIFFERENCE


Apart from Neal Bates and Coral Taylor's class-winning pairing in the Modern Competition category of Targa Tasmania, the TRD team's second TRD Aurion was piloted by reigning Australian rally champion Simon Evans and co-driven by a host of celebrity guests.

Driving a near-standard TRD Aurion, Evans competed in the Showroom 2WD class and was joined each day by a celebrity who took on the role of co-driver, guiding Evans across a day of challenging Targa stages.

This unique concept gave each of the celebrities an insight into what it takes to compete in a major motorsport event, as well as providing Simon with a new challenge on each of the six days.

To ensure the car was set-up correctly and to maximise his car's starting position Simon was joined on the Prologue by his regular co-driver and wife, Sue, who then became co-driver coach to each of the celebrity guests.

Simon Evans' co-driver timetable - 2008 Targa Tasmania

Prologue: Sue Evans - Two-time Australian rally champion co-driver
Leg 1: Greg Rust - Host of motorsport show RPM (Network Ten)
Leg 2: Jonathan Coleman - Radio personality (The Jonathan Coleman Experience)
Leg 3: Phillip James - Competition winner
Leg 4: Kerri-Anne Kennerley - Host of Mornings with Kerri-Anne (Channel Nine)
Leg 5: Cameron Williams - TODAY show sports reporter (Channel Nine)

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TRD AURION - RACE CAR SPECIFICATIONS



Engine type: Supercharged V6
Designation: 2GR-FE

Configuration:

Six cylinders, 60 degree V-formation, chain-driven DOHC with roller rockers, four valves per cylinder, all alloy, cross-flow heads, cast-iron cylinder liners
Valve mechanism: Twin Cam Multi-valve
Fuel system: Sequential multi-point injection
Displacement: 3.5-litre
Bore x stroke: 94.0 x 83.0mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Max power 241kW @ 6400rpm
Max torque: 400Nm @ 4000rpm
Transmission:

Six-speed automatic, electronically controlled with

lock-up torque converter and artificial intelligence

shift control

Steering system: Power-assisted rack and pinion
Front brakes:

AP Racing 356mm diameter ventilated disc with

aluminium four-piston calipers

Rear brakes: Single piston, 310 x 18mm ventilated discs
Front suspension:

Independent MacPherson Strut with coil springs,

double-acting gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

Rear suspension:

Independent MacPherson Strut with coil springs,

double-acting gas-filled dampers and anti-roll bar

Wheels: 19 x 8J alloys
Overall length: 4890mm
Width: 1820mm
Height: 1460mm
Wheelbase: 2775mm
Front track: 1572mm
Rear track: 1562mm


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TOYOTA JOINS AUSSIE RACING CARS SUPER SERIES


Toyota Australia has put an end to long-running media speculation by announcing it will enter the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series with the TRD Aurion, making it the first manufacturer to directly support one of Australia's most exciting racing categories.

Using a scaled-down body shell of the new TRD Aurion performance sedan, Toyota intends to have at least four of the mini-racers competing in the latter half of the 2008 season.

The series is a support category for the V8 Supercar Championship and races at some of Australia's biggest events, including the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and at Indy on the Gold Coast.

Aussie Racing Cars director Phil Ward said Toyota's involvement was a great boost to the category and hopes it will encourage other manufacturers to enter.

"Toyota's involvement is a glowing endorsement of the credibility of the category," Ward said. "It gives the series another level of interest and it will be wonderful having a major manufacturer involved.

"The TRD Aurion's body shell is really more of a caricature than a scaled-down version of the real car. We are in the final stages of producing the initial test moulds now so the finished product will be on the track later this year."

Every car in the field runs a spec mechanical package and chassis that is fitted with moulded body shells representing the relevant make and model of the car.

The cars are powered by a 1.2-litre, twin-cam, four-valve Yamaha engine, producing 91kW and 11,500rpm.

They weigh 450kg, have a top speed of 230km/h and accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

Toyota motorsport manager Todd Connolly said he was pleased Toyota could assist another feeder category in Australian motorsport.

"Toyota is really pleased to join such a fun, popular and exciting series as Aussie Racing Cars," he said.

"It is a great grass-roots category for young drivers to showcase their talent and for experienced campaigners to race competitively at minimal cost. Phil Ward must be congratulated on how well the series has developed since its launch in 2001."

Current series star Adam Gowans will step into one of the TRD Aurion Aussie Racing Cars, while another will feature a series of guest drivers, including rally champions Simon Evans and Neal Bates.

Although the series has been based around Ford and Holden-derived cars, Ward said he does not see the category as a red versus blue battle and hopes Toyota's involvement will encourage other manufacturers to get involved.

Visit www.aussieracingcars.com.au for more information on the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series.

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AUSSIE RACING CAR SPECIFICATIONS



Engine configuration:

1.2-litre, twin-cam, four-valve Yamaha engine

Max power:

91kW @ 11,500rpm

Transmission:

Integral five-speed dog engagement, sequential gear change

Chassis:

Tubular space-frame and cockpit with integral driver roll-cage

Steering system:

Ultra-fast rack and pinion

Cockpit:

Momo race seat with five-point harness and Momo quick-release steering wheel

Brakes:

Four-wheel disc with full bias adjustment with balance bar and braided lines

Front suspension:

Coil over shocks, fully adjustable rose jointed wishbones

Rear suspension:

Live axle, optional long and short-track ratios, coil over shocks, parallel trailing arms, panhard rod

Wheels:

13 x 5.5 (various styles)

Tyres:

Yokohama A032R treaded race-spec tyres

Overall length:

3000mm

Width:

1350mm

Height:

1050mm

Weight:

450kg


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TOYOTA NO DRAG


Toyota has an increased presence in Australian drag racing in 2008 thanks to experienced duo Tony Wedlock and Joe Signorelli and their unique Toyota-powered machinery.

Both are entered in the emerging Pro Factory Xtreme (Pro-FX) category for this season's Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) series - and the pair has already enjoyed some high-powered battles.

Wedlock's TRD Aurion Pro-FX is one of the quickest in its class in Australia. It can blast down a drag strip at an astounding 354km/h, accelerating from 0-100km/h in less than one second.

The former ANDRA Group One Pro Stock champion's coupe is powered by a Toyota six-cylinder, 3.2-litre, 2JZ turbocharged engine and develops 1350kW (1800bhp).

Wedlock's TRD pulls 3Gs during acceleration and in full flight can cover the quarter mile (0-400m) in less than 6.5 seconds.

The car was built by RJ Race Cars in the United States and is now the property of Wedlock's Ultimate Motorsports Team in Toowoomba, Queensland.

Not to be outdone, Signorelli pilots an equally extreme Toyota Celica, also powered by a Toyota 2JZ engine.

His copper-coloured Pro-FX Celica is prepared by Gas Motorsport, which has had previous success with Toyotas.

Gas was formed in 1994 as a development program to test the boundaries of Toyota's cult 2JZ engine.

It ran a Toyota 2JZ-powered Camry at Sports Compact Drag Racing events in 2006-07, smashing three Australian records.

Gas also competed with a Toyota Supra, beating the series power record by producing 1090 rear-wheel horsepower and collecting three awards for presentation, including champion Toyota and Best Judged Engine Bay.

Toyota's drag racing history started in 2002 in the United States in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) series - the world's premier drag racing competition.

TRD in conjunction with Toyota USA entered a Funny Car Celica, taking their first win at the Winter Nationals in Pomona in 2004 with driver Jerry Toliver.

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TONY WEDLOCK PROFILE


Former Pro Stock drag racing champion Tony Wedlock is leading Toyota's charge into an exciting new era of Australian drag racing as the pilot of the recently launched TRD Aurion Pro-Factory Xtreme (Pro-FX) drag car.

Wedlock is a seasoned campaigner in the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) championship - during his time in the Pro Stock category he amassed 26 wins and 14 runner-up finishes.

Wedlock has won every major Pro Stock title in Australia, including the prestigious Australian Nationals, Winternationals and Summernationals.

The imposing former champion is one of Australia's most consistent top-level drivers, a reputation further enhanced when his Ultimate Motorsports team remained undefeated for the entire 2005 season.

Led by crew chief Bruce 'Gonzo' Agate, this winning streak was a first in Australian drag racing, not only for the Pro Stock class but for any level of ANDRA competition.

Wedlock's Ultimate Motorsports team is now enjoying growing Toyota's presence in Australian drag racing through the emerging Pro-Factory Xtreme category.

The new Pro-FX class is designed to showcase late model technology, and Wedlock is proud to be leading the charge into drag racing's newest category.

"We are eager to show that as well as good looks, our Ultimate Motorsports TRD Aurion Pro-FX has performance to match," Wedlock said.

"Having spent many years racing in Pro Stock, it is an exciting time for our team to not only bring Australia's number one car brand into the sport of drag racing, but to be doing it in the fantastic new Pro-FX category."

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TRD DRAG CAR SPECIFICATIONS



Team:

Ultimate Motorsports

Driver:

Tony Wedlock

Class:

Pro Factory Xtreme (Pro-FX)

Weight:

1136kg (2500lbs)

Chassis:

Rick Jones Race Cars - USA , Chrome Moly

Interior:

Carbon fibre

Brake system:

Four-wheel carbon fibre

Tailshaft:

Carbon fibre

Fuel capacity:

Seven litres of methanol - total capacity used on single pass

Engine:

Toyota 2JZ

Maximum rpm:

10,000

Bore:

86mm

Stroke:

86mm

Compression ratio:

9.0:1

Cylinder block:

Toyota

Cylinder head:

Toyota

Supercharger/ turbocharger type:

Garrett

Power:

1350kW (1800HP)

Torque:

820Nm (1100Ft/lbs)

Best elapsed time:

6.46 seconds

Top speed:

354km/h (220mph)

0-100km/h:

0.98 seconds

Transmission:

Five -speed magnesium/titanium clutchless Lenco transmission

Clutch: Titanium

eight-inch triple plate racing clutch


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DRIFT STAR A SPRINTER


TRD has become involved in the emerging Drift Australia championship, throwing its support behind 2006 series champion Beau Yates and his classic AE86 Toyota Sprinter.

Known as "The Show", Yates spent the off-season upgrading his Sprinter and has entered the 2008 season with high expectations given Toyota's involvement with his team.

"Toyota's assistance was a huge bonus for the team," said Yates at the start of the season. "It meant we could upgrade the car and make it a lot more competitive.

"I'm looking forward to the new season so much now that I have the support from Toyota and TRD."

Yates and his team have given the Sprinter a wider track for the new season and also had to source a new body kit that would cover the increased track and accommodate the wider 205x45x16 tyres.

"The track is now about 40mm wider and we have fitted bigger tyres," Yates said.

"It gives me a better rolling diameter to help propel the car faster so the competition can't get away from me - but it now lets me get away from them."

The revised engine specifications, incorporating new camshafts to improve engine breathing, also help propel the Sprinter to the front as the turbo-charged 2.0-litre engine now produces around 230kW.

A new five-speed gearbox has also been added to the refined package and a serious weight-reduction program was undertaken to bring the car to 1050kg.

Yates is hoping that Toyota's support will make amends for a tough 2007 season where budgetary restraints restricted his ability to successfully defend his title.

He eventually finished fifth for the season and welcomed Toyota's involvement which allowed him to develop his 1984 Sprinter - a car just two years younger than himself.

The Drift Australia calendar for 2008 is contested over five rounds, with events in Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales.

Yates spent the opening rounds of 2008 adapting to his more powerful and heavily upgraded Sprinter and is determined to challenge for a second national title.

...ends/

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AE86 SPRINTER SPECIFICATIONS



Competition:

Toyo Drift Australia Series

Engine:

Toyota 2.0-litre, turbo-charged, 3SG Beams, custom hyper tuned inlet manifold with 80mm throttle body

Capacity:

1997cc

Bore:

86mm

Stroke:

86 mm

Comp ratio:

8.7:1

Turbocharger (type):

GCG 30/76R

Engine management:

Haltech E8

Transmission:

Toyota Soarer R154, five-speed, extreme heavy-duty clutch

Suspension:

Bilstein coil over shock absorbers front and rear

Weight:

1050kg

Track front:

1710mm

Track rear:

1700mm

Tyre size:

Toyo Proxes R1R 205x45x16

Special drift equipment:

Two-way mechanical LSD, hydraulic handbrake


...ends/

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OFF-ROAD RAGE


Toyota-powered Peter Kittle Motor Sport is one of the leading teams in the Australian Off Road Championship (AORC), arguably one of the toughest and fastest forms of motorsport in the country.

Covering six rounds in five states, the AORC is contested by wild-looking buggies and modified four-wheel drives that race over narrow, twisting, tree-lined tracks, undulating farmland, river crossings and man-made jumps.

The Kittle Motor Sport team, led by off-road racing stalwart and former AORC competitor Peter Kittle, runs a Jimco buggy fitted with a modified version of the Toyota Aurion road car's V6 engine.

The twin-turbo, 3.5-litre V6 produces 600kW in Prologue trim and is capable of more than 250km/h on dirt.

Peter Kittle realised a career-long dream earlier this year when he won his home event and the toughest event on the AORC calendar, the legendary Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory.

Peter Kittle secured his maiden Finke win - after 32 years of trying - with victory on the Queen's Birthday long weekend by his pairing of Dave Fellows and Peter's son Andrew Kittle.

One of the event's founding members and a competitor in the original Finke race in 1976, Peter Kittle had filled every step on the podium apart from the top one heading into the event.

The team was made to work even harder for its maiden win when torrential rain drenched the region in the lead-up, and during the race on Sunday's first leg from Alice Springs to Finke.

But the slippery conditions were not enough to deny Kittle his first victory after more than three decades.

"I am so happy to have finally won Finke," Peter Kittle said at the finish. "We are all feeling pretty good right now.

"Everything ran perfectly. We had no problems at all with the TRD Jimco buggy. In fact, it is in such good condition that we could do it all again now. But, I think we will go and do some celebrating instead.

"It has taken a long time, but the wait makes victory taste even sweeter," Peter Kittle said of his 32-year wait.

The Kittle Motor Sport team dominated their first successful Finke race, with Fellows and co-driver Andrew Kittle setting a time more than four minutes faster than second place on the event's first leg.

The season concludes in Goondiwindi, Queensland in mid-October where the Kittle team is aiming to secure its first AORC title.

...ends/

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TRD JIMCO BUGGY SPECIFICATIONS


Owner:

Peter Kittle

Driver:

David Fellows

Class:

Pro

Weight:

1350kg

Front suspension:

A-arm with Fox bypass shocks and Eibach springs

Travel :

22 inches

Rear suspension:

Trailing arm with Fox bypass shocks and Eibach Springs

Travel :

20 inches

Fuel capacity:

260 litres

Engine:

Toyota 2GR-FE (VVT-i 3.5-litre V6)

Bore x stroke:

94 x 83mm

Compression ratio:

7.2:1

Induction:

Twin turbocharged intercooler

Prologue trim:

18psi boost 800hp [600kw] at flywheel

Race trim:

10psi boost 650 hp [485kw] at flywheel

Top speed on dirt:

255km/h

Engine management:

Motec m880 management system with A.D.L. Motec dash, and electronic cockpit adjustable boost control

Transmission:

Albins AGB Sequential six-speed transaxle

Clutch:

Sachs rally clutch 7.25

Tyres:

B F Goodrich Project 35x15x12.5 Kevlar


...ends/

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TOYOTA UNLEASHES V6 HILUX HEROES


Toyota Australia has teamed up with some of Australia's top professional drivers to form the V6 HiLux Heroes stunt driving team.

The V6 HiLux Heroes pilot slightly modified versions of the 4x2 V6 Toyota HiLux, Australia's best-selling ute.

The team has been entertaining crowds since the start of 2008 at major shows and trade days with a range of stunts, from formation driving to reverse flick turns and high-speed crossovers.

Highlights of the performance include a stunt in which the driver balances the vehicle on its two driver-side wheels, and another featuring a 12-metre ramp-to-ramp jump.

Other stunts include drifting, nose-to-nose driving and vehicle jumping displays.

Between them, the V6 HiLux Heroes team has several decades of experience in stunt and rally driving, and has performed in front of more than 45 million Australians.

V6 HiLux Heroes was conceived by well-known Toyota personality Rick Bates and owners of the growing Drift Australia series Wayne Boatwright and Scott Anderson.

Director Rick Bates said the team is excited about its new alliance with Toyota.

"Not only is the Toyota HiLux considered virtually unbreakable, it's also great fun to drive," he said.

"Having Toyota's support has given us the opportunity to take the show to the masses, while also nurturing some of the newer driving talent coming through the ranks."

Toyota's motorsport manager Todd Connolly said the new V6 HiLux Heroes partnership is helping to further build the Toyota brand.

"HiLux is Australia's most popular ute, and one of the most recognisable workhorses in the country," Mr Connolly said.

"The V6 HiLux Heroes demonstrate the rugged durability and power of V6 HiLux and show HiLux performing stunts that are not traditionally associated with this vehicle.

"This partnership brings the HiLux name to all points of the compass in Australia - from regional shows to the major city fairs.

"It displays the vehicle in a way that is more extreme than its normal day-to-day use.

"Using HiLux was a no-brainer - the vehicles are tough, powerful and can withstand the rigours of rough treatment. It's a great way to show off their performance credentials.

"Between Rick, Wayne and Scott, the team is a completely professional outfit, backed up by drivers who have been doing this sort of thing for decades," he said.

...ends/

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V6 HILUX SPECIFICATIONS


Engine:

1GR-FE 4.0-litre Twin Cam VVT-i V6 petrol engine

Type:

V6 DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder with VVT-i

Displacement:

3956cc

Bore and stroke:

94.0 x 95.0mm

Compression ratio:

10.0:1

Max power:

175kW/5200rpm

Max torque:

343Nm/2400-4800rpm

Overall length:

4975mm

Overall width:

1760mm

Overall height:

1680mm

Wheelbase:

3085mm

Ground clearance:

177mm

Kerb weight:

1480-1525kg

Fuel tank capacity:

76 litres

Steering:

Power-assisted rack and pinion

Brakes:

Vacuum-boosted hydraulic system
F - Ventilated disc brakes
R - Self-adjusting drum

Front suspension:

Double wishbone type with coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and stabiliser bar

Rear suspension:

Leaf spring type rigid axle with gas-filled shock absorbers


V6 HiLux Heroes modifications:
Custom-designed Bilstein shock absorbers, HiLux SR5 limited-slip differential, custom exhaust, Toyota Genuine sports bars and SAAS sports seats

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PROFILE: RICK BATES


RICK BATES

Age: 42
Resides: Canberra, ACT
Years as precision driving team member: First - Debut: 2008
Motorsport history: Rick kicked off a long, successful and diverse career in motorsport with a win in the Peter Jackson Search for a Champion competition in 1990, followed by a trio of class wins in the James Hardie 12 Hour race at Bathurst between 1991 and 1994. He was NSW State Rally Champion in 1996, won the gruelling Panama to Alaska Marathon Rally in 1997 and took out the Australian Formula 2 Rally Championship in 1998. Rick blitzed the 1999 Classic Adelaide tarmac rally and in 2000 switched to circuit racing to drive six rounds of the V8 Supercar championship, before switching his main focus back to rallying in 2003 with Toyota Team Racing. Rick won another Classic Adelaide tarmac rally in 2005, as well as a Toll Shipping tarmac rally and Suda-Americana Marathon Rally in 2006.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Pushing the HiLux to the limit."
Favourite stunt during the show: Crossovers.
Interests: Rallying, water skiing, real estate and spending time with son Zach.

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PROFILE: ROD BROWNING


Age: 57
Resides: Kenmore, QLD
Years as precision driving team member: 28

Motorsport history: Rod has been a driving instructor in a number of different fields including performance, rally and defensive for several decades. He has international accreditation in a number of specialist driving fields and also won his class in the 1994 Queensland Rally Championship. Rod is the longest-serving member of the precision driving team.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Being able to bring stunt driving back to the masses and to have some fun in the tough V6 HiLux."

Favourite stunt during the show: "I don't have one favourite, it's all good!"

Interests: Motorsports, cycling, skiing and virtual driving simulators.

...ends/

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PROFILE: MICK GUEST


Age: 31
Resides: Ipswich, QLD
Years as precision driving team member: Two

Motorsport history: Mick started racing at 12 years of age in motorkhanas, before stepping up to autocross racing at age 14. He progressed to rallying at 17 and has competed semi-regularly during the last 14 years. He also competed in dirt circuit racing and hill climbs before joining the precision driving team.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "The crowd. Nothing beats talking to the kids after a performance and seeing their faces light up."

Favourite stunt during the show: "Single file over the Woop-T-Doos. Being the last car you just pray that the other three have got it lined up right!"

Interests: Spending time with family, rallying, soccer and camping.

...ends/

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PROFILE: PAUL GOODWIN


Age: 39
Resides: Brisbane, QLD
Years as precision driving team member: 10 years and the last five as lead driver.

Motorsport history: In his twenties, Paul concentrated predominately on rallying, with his greatest achievements being winning the Queensland Clubman title as well as class victories in the Queensland state championships. A lack of sufficient funding brought about an early break from the sport he loves most, although it did lead him to precision driving.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Driving a car is my passion, but to get to do it all over the country in front of huge crowds and provide a spectacle that people love to watch is very humbling."

Favourite stunt during the show: "I really enjoy travelling quickly in a car sideways. Other parts of the show are more demanding and require finesse and precision - like driving on two wheels, for example. But for an out-and-out rush, doing hot laps of an arena is still where the magic lies."

Interests: Spending time with his partner and children, music, mountain biking, cricket, football and golf.

...ends/

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PROFILE: LAWRENCE RYAN


Age: 36
Resides: Junee, NSW
Years as precision driving team member: First - Debut: 2008

Motorsport history: When it comes to performing on two wheels Lawrence Ryan (aka Lawrence Legend) is one of the best in the business. Lawrence has jumped motorcycles over cars, buses, aeroplanes and houses - and even ridden through a 36-metre tunnel of fire. With multiple world records to his credit, Lawrence also holds a number of Guinness World Records for driving a car on two wheels. In addition to his work as a professional stunt driver, he also works as an advanced driving instructor.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Entertaining crowds in all parts of Australia and getting to drive a near-standard HiLux ute on two wheels!"

Favourite stunt during the show: "Two-wheel driving is my favourite part. I get to see the places we perform at from some interesting angles!"

Interests: Motorcycle stunt riding, woodwork and spending time with family.

...ends/

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PROFILE: DAVE SHANNON


Age: 53
Resides: Longreach, QLD
Years as precision driving team member: 15

Motorsport history: Dave started rallying in the early 1970s after graduating through the car club ranks. He competed at state level for a couple of years before moving into professional driving by joining the Holden Precision Driving Team in 1981. He drove for the team for 15 years while also working in driver education and training. He also performs stunt driving for television, feature films and specialty events both in Australia and internationally.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Driving with a diversely talented group of drivers and showing Australians how versatile the HiLux really is."

Favourite stunt during the show: "Two-wheel driving. Following closely behind Lawrence as he performs the stunt is probably the best seat in the house, well, maybe not as good as Lawrence's..."

Interests: Rallying, travel and ensuring young drivers are well-instructed on road safety.

...ends/

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PROFILE: JACK MONKHOUSE


Age: 27

Resides: Miranda, NSW

Years as precision driving team member: First - Debut: 2008

Motorsport history: Jack started his motorsport career in rallying, making his Australian Rally Championship (ARC) debut in 2001. He spent the next few seasons developing his driving skills and by the end of the 2004 season he won his class of the production car championship and finished second in the Privateers Cup. Jack remained a regular top-10 contender in the ARC before moving in 2007 to the emerging sport of drifting, where he is now a regular competitor.

Favourite part of being a V6 HiLux Heroes driver: "Being able to show what a near-standard HiLux can, do and exciting the crowd with great performances."

Favourite stunt during the show: "Weaving, because you get four cars sliding around each other at the same time."

Interests: "Rallying, drifting, motorsport preparation, and relaxing when I get the chance."

...ends/

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TATNELL STARS AGAIN FOR TOYOTA


Six-time World Series Sprint Car Champion Brooke Tatnell - a product of Toyota's Star Search program in the late 1980s - is now succeeding at the highest level in his Toyota Genuine parts-sponsored sprint car.

The 36-year-old has won the last three Australian Sprint Car titles in his Toyota-sponsored car racing for Krikke Motorsport.

"I raced for my own team here in Australia for many years but we folded at the end of 2004 due to a lack of funds," Tatnell said.

"Krikke Motorsport was the best team in Australia and I had the opportunity to race for them. That also reunited me with Toyota as Toyota Genuine parts was their major sponsor.

"I spend nine months a year racing in the US, but without Toyota's sponsorship I wouldn't be able to come back here to race."

Tatnell's late father George was also an Australian sprint car champion and Brooke has followed in his footsteps.

He has recorded more than 250 career victories, including being the youngest person to win a sprint car race in Australia at age 16.

He is also the first Australian driver to win on the highly competitive World of Outlaws sprint car circuit in the US, but is never happier than when he races in Australia.

"I race 12 months of the year," Tatnell said. "I do it because I am a motorsport fan and a passionate Australian so the highlight of my year is coming home to race.

"I got a break with Toyota's Star Search program in the 1980s along with Neal Bates and other young drivers. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity and it is nice that I can now give something back to Toyota."

Toyota's motorsport manager Todd Connolly said it was fitting that Tatnell was back as part of the Toyota family and doing so well in a Toyota-backed sprint car.

"Brooke has gone on to dominate Australian sprint car racing and it is rewarding to see him and people like Neal Bates do so well out of the Toyota Star Search Program," said Connolly.

Toyota is also an emerging power in the tough US sprint car and oval short-track scene, where the company's four-cylinder engine secured victory in its debut race at the start of 2007.

Developed by TRD in conjunction with eight-time USAC championship-winning engine builders Ed Pink Racing, the 166 cubic inch (2721cc) engine is normally aspirated and produces up to 350 horsepower (257kW).

...ends/

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EVANS RUNS 'RINGS AROUND COMPETITION


Reigning Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans made his circuit racing debut at the most revered track in world motorsport when he headed to Germany in late May to compete in the famed 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race.

Evans raced alongside 220 other cars in a Toyota Corolla Sportivo that had been modified to European 24-hour Class SP3 specifications, allowing for extensive modifications to body work, engine and drivetrain.

The two-time ARC champion competed on the daunting 24.8km track for the Osborne Motorsport team alongside two-time Australian Production Car Champion Colin Osborne and Stuart Jones.

Evans was amazed at the sheer size of the 220-car event.

"Overall it was amazing, just huge," Evans said.

"It was the biggest thing I have ever seen in motorsport. The whole thing is crazy - when you are overtaking someone there is usually someone overtaking you. It's just nuts.

"If the opportunity came up again in the right scenario I would consider it, but I have ticked the box and am happy to have done it."

Due to the capacity field, eight teams shared each pit bay.

The Osborne Motorsport team endured a tough event and eventually retired from the race with a brake issue, but not before Evans got to make his circuit racing debut.

He described it as like playing a video game: "It is the circuit racing version of the cannonball run," Evans said. "It felt like there were no rules, but it all worked quite well."

Despite posting a DNF, Evans enjoyed one of the highlights of his career when he passed Toyota rally legend and two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz during the race.

"It was wet and we were flying and I came up behind him and simply had more speed. We gave each other a nod as I passed - it was surreal," Evans said of his pass on Sainz's VW Sirocco.

...ends/

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COROLLA SPORTIVO NÜRBURGRING SPECIFICATIONS


Engine: 2ZZ series modified to 1948cc with revised camshafts and light-weight flywheel
Power: 190kW
Engine management: Motec M800
Gearbox: Six-speed transaxle with TRD LSD
Suspension: Proflex
Tyres: Yokohama
Weight: 1045kg
Top speed: 246km/h
Modifications: The Corolla Sportivo Nürburgring has been modified to European 24-hour Class SP3 specifications

These regulations allow very extensive modifications to body work, engine and drive-train. Modifications include: removal of interior trim, lightweight windows and revised engine capacity and camshaft profiles.

For its 2008 return to the 24 Hours Nürburgring the Corolla was fitted with a revised exhaust system including high-flow exhaust manifold and upgraded front brakes, incorporating larger discs and four-piston calipers.

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TOYOTA WINS AGAIN AT BATHURST


Toyota won its class at the Bathurst 12 Hour for the second year in a row in February, adding yet another victory to its long list of achievements at Mount Panorama.

Drivers Neal Bates, Colin Osborne and John Roecken took their Celica SX to victory in Class E, finishing more than one lap ahead of another Celica - making it a Toyota 1-2 in the Production Sports class.

The trio matched their 2007 effort and finished 11th outright, completing 234 laps in 12h00m48.43s.

Bates set the fastest lap of the race for a Class E car and was pleased to add his fourth 12-hour class win in five years.

"We won our class, set its fastest lap and started from pole," Bates said.

"What more can I say? We have backed up last year's great result, and apart from one puncture which slowed us up a little, we had absolutely no dramas.

"Production car races are very enjoyable events. The car was fun to drive and it was great that Toyota claimed a 1-2 in our class."

Bates said the victory and the fact that three of the top four Class E places were filled by Celicas again highlighted the pace and durability of one of the oldest cars in the field.

The victorious Osborne team was followed home in second place by the Celica of True Blue Motorsport, while Osborne Motorsport's second Celica finished fourth.

John Roecken's part in the drive to class victory was also significant, as not only is he a regular behind the wheel of the Celica in production car events, but he also works for Toyota Australia in the product planning department.

...ends/

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KNIGHT CROWNED CHAMPION


Christchurch driver Andy Knight won the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series (TRS) title for the 2007/08 season, winning the country's premier motorsport category in a tight finish that came down to the season's final race.

Knight won a closely fought battle with 17-year-old Earl Bamber, securing the title by 23 points at Teretonga Park in Invercargill.

Apart from securing his first TRS title, Knight also won the historic New Zealand Motor Cup and the New Zealand Grand Prix - one of only two events outside of Formula 1 permitted to carry the Grand Prix classification.

As reward for taking the title, Knight was awarded the Chris Amon Trophy and the Chris Amon Scholarship fund to help further his international single-seater career.

Knight's title was a fitting result as he had finished fourth, third and second overall in previous seasons.

Bamber became the youngest driver ever to win the prestigious Lady Wigram Trophy. With second place overall, he marked his arrival as New Zealand's next teenage superstar.

The young Kiwi racer hopes to follow in the footsteps of his countryman Brendon Hartley who graduated from TRS into the gruelling British Formula 3 Championship, where he has become a frontrunner for the championship-winning Carlin Motorsport team.

For the 2007/08 season, TRS switched to E85 bio-fuel (85 per cent ethanol/15 per cent 95 octane petrol), furthering Toyota's commitment to environmentally conscious motorsport.

This year's seven-round TRS championship again saw New Zealand's up-and-coming racing talent mix it with a host of experienced local and international drivers in Toyota-powered 'wings-and-slicks' single-seaters.

Among the overseas competitors were former Bathurst 1000 champion and V8 Supercar driver Jason Bargwanna, as well as drivers from the United States and Iceland.

TRS also featured on the program of the New Zealand leg of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, and was a non-points race at the inaugural V8 Supercar event in Hamilton in April.

Toyota New Zealand general manager finance, John Fowke, said he was pleased to see the closest season ever in TRS history, and proud of the growing international recognition the series has begun to attract.

...ends/

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TRS CAR SPECIFICATIONS


Engine designation:

2ZZ-GE

Cylinders:

In-line four-cylinder

Capacity (cc):

1798

Bore x stroke:

82 x 85mm

Compression ratio:

11.5

Power:

1 47kW (approx)

Chassis:

Tatuus carbon monocoque/FIA F3 with

carbon body

Transmission:

Sadev six-speed sequential, limited-slip

differential

Brakes:

Alcon four piston calipers with Alcon 274 x

17.5mm ventilated discs

Front suspension:

Push-rod, mono-damper

Rear suspension:

Push-rod, two dampers

Shock absorbers:

Bump and rebound adjustment

Springs:

58 x 140mm

Wheels:

Aluminium, centre bolt fixation:

Front: 8 x 13, rear: 10 x 13

Tyres:

Michelin

Fuel:

E85 (85 per cent ethanol/15 per cent 95

octane petrol)

Weight:

480kg (approx)


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TOYOTA KEEPS ITS SPOTS


Toyota has continued its title sponsorship of the Leopard kart series for 2008, reaffirming its commitment to developing grass-roots level motorsport in Australia.

The company is again providing two Toyota Yaris cars as the major prizes for the 2008 Toyota IAME Leopard Series Final Shootout.

Last season David Sera and Hayden Stephenson each won a Yaris at the 2007 Toyota IAME Leopard Series Final Shootout in early November.

Sera had only recently returned from Spain when he took to the Hume International Raceway near Puckapunyal, Victoria, in his Australian-built Arrow kart.

He was in Spain representing Australia in the inaugural IAME 125 World Challenge - and came home in time to take out his second Toyota IAME Leopard Final Shootout in a row.

Sera's cousin James Sera followed him to the podium, with fellow Victorian Jason Pringle taking third place.

Queenslander Hayden Stephenson won the Leopard heavy division in an Australian-built Phoenix kart.

Stephenson kept his head in the wet conditions and took first place ahead of Michael Griffiths, who finished in front of Queenslander Kel Treseder.

Series promoter Remo Racing is pleased to have Toyota onboard for another exciting season of karting action.

"At Remo Racing, we have worked extremely hard over recent years to build and promote the Leopard class in Australia," said Remo Luciani.

"The crowning jewel in Leopard racing is no doubt the Toyota IAME Leopard Series.

"We are so pleased that Toyota Australia will join us again in 2008 as a sponsor."

The 2008 final will be held in Dubbo, New South Wales, from 24 to 26 October.

...ends/

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TF108 GENERATES TOYOTA TURNAROUND


Panasonic Toyota Racing is enjoying one of its best-ever starts to a Formula 1 season.

At least one car has qualified in the top 10 at every race contested to date as the team makes the most of its highly-competitive TF108 race car.

Italian veteran Jarno Trulli has been leading the charge, scoring points in the opening four races of the season as well as qualifying in the top 10 at each event.

In his fourth full season with the team, Trulli has qualified in the face of competition from traditional leaders McLaren, Ferrari and BMW, and is firmly locked in the top 10 in the drivers' championship.

New team-mate Timo Glock has been quick to get up to speed with the team. Although he has yet to open his 2008 account, the reigning GP2 champion is quickly adapting to life as a full-time F1 driver.

Both drivers credit much of the team's performance improvement to their 2008 race car.

Launched at the team's headquarters in Cologne, Germany, in early January, the TF108 is a significant departure from Toyota's previous F1 cars.

It represents a positive shift within the team to reverse the disappointing results of the previous two seasons.

It features a longer wheelbase, a heavily revised aerodynamic package, including the popular 'bridge'-style front wing, and wheel fairings similar to those used by the team during 2007.

Conforming to the sport's current regulations, the car's RVX-08 V8 engine remains largely the same as the unit used last season, and is still rev-limited to 19,000rpm.

New for 2008 is the banning of electronic driver aids such as traction control. To ensure compliance, all cars use identical engine control units.

The team introduced its first major update to the TF108 to improve performance for the Spanish Grand Prix.

It later adopted a special high-downforce configuration for the challenging Monaco street race, where Trulli scored his maiden F1 victory in 2004.

"The start to the season has been quite encouraging," said team president John Howett. "Over the first five races the car has been relatively quick, and we have had some positive race results.

"Jarno is very positive about the baseline of the TF108, while Timo has shown many flashes of high performance and potential. It is obvious he is becoming more relaxed with the car as the season progresses.

"Our results this season are an improvement on 2007 because the car is basically better - there is no question about that.

"This year's car has a much wider operating window, and this helps the drivers and the engineers to get the most out of it."

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JARNO TRULLI AND TIMO GLOCK PROFILES


JARNO TRULLI


Nationality: Italian

Born: 13 July 1974 - Pescara , Italy

Marital status: married to Barbara, two sons (Enzo and Marco)

Height : 1.73m

Weight: 60kg

Hobbies: Music, karting and fitness

Drives: Lexus RX400, Harley Davidson

Favourite F1 driver: Niki Lauda

Best F1 moment: Winning Monaco 2004


Jarno Trulli has been a Panasonic Toyota Racing driver since October 2004, bringing not only speed and racecraft, but also the benefit of his vast experience of Formula 1 - and life itself.


Motorsport is his passion, but that only tells half of the Jarno Trulli story. As well as racing, he produces his own wine (now a flourishing international business) while also building his own karts and - not to forget - enjoying a happy family life with wife Barbara and their two sons, Enzo and Marco.


Jarno, who has scored three podiums and one pole position for the team, has made 181 Grands Prix starts since his debut as a 22-year-old following an impressive career in junior racing, including the 1995 world kart championship and the German Formula 3 title a year later.


After achieving a personal milestone with his Monaco win in 2004, he joined Toyota and immediately delivered for his new team, taking Toyota 's first Formula 1 podiums with second places in Malaysia and Bahrain , and third in Spain , as well as the team's maiden pole position, at Indianapolis .


Seventh place in the World Championship was his reward. It was Toyota 's best season yet, one which saw the team finish fourth in the Constructors' Championship.


Jarno showed his speed again in 2007 by qualifying in the top 10 on 14 occasions, with a best result of sixth.


Jarno Trulli's F1 career at a glance


GP debut: Australia 1997

GPs started*: 189

Wins*: 1

Pole positions*: 3

Points*: 192

Best championship result: 6th (2004)


*As of Turkey 2008


____________________________________________________________


 TIMO GLOCK


Nationality: German

Born: 18 March 1982 - Lindenfels , Germany

Marital status: Single

Height: 1.69m

Weight: 64kg

Hobbies: Karting, fitness

Drives: Lexus IS F

Favourite F1 drivers: Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher

Best moment: Winning GP2 title


He might be just 26, but Timo Glock has already had a varied and successful career in motorsport, arriving at Panasonic Toyota Racing as a proven champion following his triumph in the 2007 GP2 series.


The GP2 Series is renowned as the toughest proving ground for young drivers in the world, but Timo showed his fighting spirit and speed to win the championship at a nerve-wracking final round in Valencia .


After just two years of kart racing, he stepped up to single-seaters and enjoyed an impressive rise through the ranks to Formula 1, via ADAC Formula BMW and Formula 3.


At just 22 he was a Grand Prix racer. He made an unexpected Jordan debut in Canada in 2004, where he joined an exclusive list of drivers to score points in their first race, thanks to his seventh place.


Three more races followed at the end of the season before a switch to the United States for 2005, where he marked himself out as a rising star by taking Rookie of the Year honours with a best finish of second.


However, the lure of Formula 1 was too great and he returned to prove his credentials in GP2. That looked a wise move this year when he came out on top of a tough title battle, helping him earn a race seat at Panasonic Toyota Racing in the process.


Timo Glock's F1 career at a glance


GP debut: Canada 2004

GPs started *: 9

Wins * : 0

Pole positions*: 0

Points*: 2

Best championship result: 19th (2004)


*As of Turkey 2008


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TF108 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS


Monocoque:

2ZZ-GE

Fuel tank:

In-line four-cylinder

Suspension:

1798

Dampers :

82 x 85mm

Wheels:

11.5

Tyres:

1 47kW (approx)

Brakes:

Tatuus carbon monocoque/FIA F3 with

carbon body

Steering:

Sadev six-speed sequential, limited-slip

differential

Driver's seat :

Alcon four piston calipers with Alcon 274 x

17.5mm ventilated discs

HANS device:

Push-rod, mono-damper

Electronics:

Push-rod, two dampers

Transmission:

Bump and rebound adjustment

Overall length:

58 x 140mm

Overall height:

Aluminium, centre bolt fixation:

Front: 8 x 13, rear: 10 x 13

Overall width:

Michelin

Overall weight:

E85 (85 per cent ethanol/15 per cent 95

octane petrol)

ENGINE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Designation: RVX-08

Cylinders:

8

Capacity:

2,398cc

Horsepower:

740bhp (approx)

Revolutions Maximum:

19,000rpm (as required by FIA rules)

Valve actuation:

Pneumatic

Throttle actuation:

Hydraulic

Spark plugs:

DENSO

Fuel and lubricants:

Esso

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TOYOTA JOINS GOOD OLE' BOYS


Toyota has become a force in North America's premier racing category NASCAR, securing wins in all three tiers of the stock car series in just four seasons of racing with versions of the Camry and Tundra pick-up truck.

Despite only entering NASCAR competition in 2004 when Tundras debuted in the third-tier Truck Series, Toyota has rapidly come to grips with racing in the oval-based series.

In just its second season of competition in the top-tier Sprint Cup competition, Toyota's Camry Cup car has already secured numerous victories and pole positions - and a number of Camry drivers are well-placed to challenge for the championship.

Five Cup teams use the Camry: Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Team Red Bull, Bill Davis Racing and Hall of Fame Racing.

Waltrip, Red Bull and Davis ran Camrys during Toyota's maiden year in 2007, while Gibbs and Hall of Fame switched from other manufacturers at the start of 2008.

Toyota also began racing the Camry in the second-tier Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series in 2007, remarkably taking a number of victories and pole positions in its debut year.

Four teams run the Nationwide Camry, and Michael Waltrip Racing's David Reutimann managed to finish runner-up in the standings in the car's debut year.

Toyota entered the Truck Series in 2004 and in doing so became the first new manufacturer to join NASCAR in more than 50 years.

This allowed Toyota to sample NASCAR before it entered the Cup Series, and the company has had a lot of success with the Tundra in just four full seasons of competition.

By the start of the 2008 season, Tundra drivers had recorded 38 victories and 49 poles.

Toyota has secured the last two manufacturers' titles. Two of the past three series champions - Ted Musgrave (2005) and Todd Bodine (2006) - both won their titles driving Tundras.

Six Truck teams run the Tundra, including the championship-winning Germain Racing.

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TOYOTA SPRINTS TO THE FRONT


Toyota has become the main contender for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship following a remarkable start for the Camry in just its second year of competition in the series.

New Toyota convert Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has set the pace during the early part of the season, with its three drivers securing numerous wins and pole positions.

First-year JGR driver Kyle Busch took the championship lead early in the season and has been backed up by strong drives from team-mates Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Second-year Toyota teams Michael Waltrip Racing, Team Red Bull and Bill Davis Racing have shown increased speed and consistency since last season, marking an overall improvement for Toyota's Cup effort.

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JOE GIBBS RACING


Leading Camry outfit Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has quickly brought Toyota to the front of the NASCAR Sprint Cup field despite only signing on with the manufacturer at the end of the 2007 season.

The three-time Cup champions secured Toyota its maiden Cup win early in the 2008 season at Atlanta, where drivers Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart scored a 1-2 result.

Since the early season success Busch, Stewart and Denny Hamlin have scored numerous poles and victories for the Camry.

The team's early season form has placed all three in contention for The Chase - a 12-driver shootout that decides the championship.

JGR is owned by three-time NFL Super Bowl-winning coach Joe Gibbs and run by his son J.D. It has been a successful team since it first entered the Cup Series in 1992.

In its first seasons JGR signed recently retired Toyota driver Dale Jarrett to lead its one-car team, scoring two top-fives and eight top-10s in the team's debut season.

By year two Jarrett and JGR began delivering results, with the team's first win coming in the 1993 Daytona 500 and Jarrett putting in a consistent performance to finish fourth in the series.

Eyeing future success, Gibbs signed then IndyCar star Tony Stewart in to run a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule for 1997 and 1998, before he jumped to the Cup Series in 1999.

Stewart found instant success, qualifying on the front row for the season-opening Daytona 500, winning three races and claiming Rookie of the Year honours.

Experienced team-mate Terry Labonte finished second in the 1999 standings, before winning the team's first series championship in 2000.

Stewart's status continued to rise and he claimed his maiden title with the team in 2002, before repeating the feat with JGR in 2005.

Denny Hamlin then joined the team in 2006 and immediately proved a contender, placing third in the point standings with two wins as well as securing the Rookie of the Year title.

Busch signed with the team when it switched from Chevrolet to Toyota for 2008 and has dominated the early part of the season, scoring numerous wins, poles and leading the championship.

The team has won more than 60 Cup races and will enter its 1000th Cup race during the 2008 season.

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MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING


Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) became Toyota's first three-car team when it joined with the manufacturer in its debut season in 2007, realising a long-held dream for team owner Waltrip.

Although MWR had been competing in the second tier Busch Series (now Nationwide) since 1996, until it joined forces with Toyota it had been unable to secure funding to enter more than a handful of Cup races.

The association with Toyota resulted in Waltrip securing the necessary sponsorship to run three cars full-time in the Cup Series and allowed him to develop a modern facility in which to house his team.

In the team's debut season, Waltrip was joined by former champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Jarrett, as well as rookie driver David Reutimann.

As one of the most experienced drivers in the history of the sport, Jarrett was brought on board to assist in the development of the Camry and to guide Reutimann.

Jarrett retired from the sport following the 2008 All-Star race and has been replaced in the team by rookie Michael McDowell.

Reutimann showed promise during his first full season, qualifying for 27 of the 36 races and performing well in the second-tier Nationwide Series.

Waltrip, who left his previous Cup team to race in his own squad, suffered a difficult start to life as a Cup team owner but bounced back well in the latter half of the season.

Fittingly, he scored his operation's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole at Talladega late in the 2007 season.

Since beginning his Cup career in the mid-1980s, Waltrip has won two Daytona 500s and become one of the top drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

He has also expanded MWR's workshop in Mooresville, North Carolina, to better develop his new top-tier team. The property is also the home to Waltrip Raceworld, a 140,000-square-foot racing entertainment complex.

The move paid dividends for his Nationwide Series team, as Reutimann drove his Camry to the runner-up position in the 2007 series standings.

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TEAM RED BULL


Team Red Bull brought flair and style to Toyota's rookie year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, entering two cars for young stars Brian Vickers and A.J. Allmendinger.

Red Bull announced its intention to enter NASCAR's Cup Series early in 2006, eventually aligning itself with Toyota for the manufacturer's debut year in 2007.

A self-described engineering-based team, Red Bull has started to build some strong momentum, firstly with Vickers and more recently with former open-wheel Allmendinger.

Vickers was one of the leading Camrys in Toyota's debut Cup season, scoring one top-five and five top-10 finishes.

The one-time Cup winner and 2003 Nationwide Series winner has carried last season's form into 2008. He has the speed to challenge for the top-12 which would qualify him for the championship shootout known as The Chase.

Allmendinger was initially a surprise convert to NASCAR following a strong run in the now defunct Champ Car open-wheeler series.

He struggled to qualify throughout 2007 and early 2008, but has hit a strong run of form and scored victory in a qualifying race for the non-championship All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Veteran Mike Skinner replaced the young driver for a number of races early in the 2008 season - moving the car into the top-35 in the owners' points where it was guaranteed a start.

Launched in 1984 by Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull was the world's first energy drink.

The company has become highly active in the support of action and adventure sports, music, culture and motorsports.

Red Bull also owns and operates two Formula One teams and supports teams and athletes in 25 different series worldwide.

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BILL DAVIS RACING


Bill Davis Racing (BDR) is one of the most successful teams associated with Toyota's assault on NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series and has been involved with the manufacturer since it entered the Truck Series in 2004.

BDR had the honour of scoring Toyota its first Cup Series pole position when driver Dave Blaney set the fastest time at New Hampshire in 2007 during the Camry's first season.

The team has competed in various levels of NASCAR for more than 20 years and has won races in all three tiers of the sport, including the 2002 Daytona 500.

Davis aligned his team with Toyota when it entered the Truck Series with the Tundra in 2004.

The team holds the record for most number of poles in a Truck season with 12 in 2007 when the team also scored nine wins with the Tundra and finished runner-up in the championship with Mike Skinner.

BDR joined Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull in 2007 as the first teams to run Toyotas in the Cup series when they ran a Camry for Dave Blaney.

Blaney became the first Camry driver during Toyota's debut season to score enough points to sit in the top-35 of the championship - a performance that guaranteed his car a starting place during the latter half of the season.

Davis became involved with the sport in the 1980s and has worked with some of the top drivers and claimed numerous honors.

The team's most prestigious moment, apart from winning the 2002 Daytona 500 with Ward Burton, was securing the 1991 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award with now four-time Cup Champion Jeff Gordon.

Along with its Truck Series pole record, the team also holds the single-season pole record for the Nationwide Series when Gordon qualified fastest for 11 races during the 2002 season.

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HALL OF FAME RACING


Hall of Fame Racing underwent a makeover ahead of the 2008 season, part of which was becoming one of two teams to switch to the Toyota Camry for the new NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

The team is one of the newest in the Sprint Cup Series and its single car effort is piloted by ex-Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver J.J. Yeley.

Continuing its JGR ties, the team sources its Camry engines from Gibbs, providing it with the necessary power to contend with the top Cup teams.

Founded in 2006, the team's name was derived from its two owners who were both National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame players.

During the off-season Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel, top executives with NFL team Arizona Diamondbacks, bought a majority interest in the team from Hall of Fame duo Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.

Remarkably for a one-car team, Hall of Fame Racing has qualified for every race it has entered in the two seasons of Cup racing.

The team started its inaugural Cup season in 2006 with two-time series champion Terry Labonte behind the wheel for the first five races.

Labonte also competed in the series' two road-courses races, scoring the team's best result to date with third at Infineon Raceway.

The bulk of the 2006 and 2007 schedule went to driver Tony Raines, although Canadian Ron Fellows drove in both road course races in 2007, finishing 11th at Sonoma and fourth at Watkins Glen.

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NASCAR SPRINT CUP CAMRY SPECIFICATIONS


Engine: Cast iron, 358 cubic inch (max.) V8 with aluminum cylinder heads
Power: 625kW (850bhp) @ 9000 RPM
Compression ratio: 1 2:1
Torque: 82 x 85mm
Induction: 745Nm @ 7500 RPM
Top speed: 321 km/h (est)
Transmission: Four-speed
Fuel: Sunoco 260 GTX unleaded; 67-litre capacity tank
Front suspension: Upper - Independent coil springs Lower - A-frames
Rear suspension: Trailing arms, coil springs, panhard bar
Chassis: Rectangular steel tubing with integral roll cage
Body length (mm): 5042
Body width (mm): 1880
Height (mm): 1359 (min)
Wheel base (mm): 2794
Weight: 1565kg w/o driver
Front air dam/splitter: 4.5 inches maximum
Gear ratio: 2.90 to 6.50:1
Spoiler: NASCAR supplied
Wheels: Steel 15x9.5
Tyres: Goodyear Eagle slicks
Tread width: 1536mm (max)
Front and rear brakes: Disc


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