** Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team entering two cars in 2019 ARC **
** Brothers Harry and Lewis Bates to drive in the six-round season **
** TGRA rally team running two 224kW turbocharged Yaris AP4 rally cars **
The Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia (TGRA) rally team kicks off its two-car assault on the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) this weekend (April 5-7) when the Forest Rally hits the dirt roads in the south-west of WA.
The Toyota factory-backed TGRA rally team will run two Yaris AP4 rally cars in the six-round season with Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy in one, and Lewis Bates paired with Anthony McLoughlin in the second car.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Gabriel said Toyota's support for the TGRA rally team was part of the company's global strategy to leverage its participation in motorsport at all levels to help create better, more durable and more exciting cars for customers.
"Through our global Toyota GAZOO Racing motorsport program and its local Australian arm, we can take the experience and learnings gained in the harshest conditions and apply those to the road cars we develop," Mr Gabriel said.
"In the TGRA rally team we have some serious experience, with the Bates family having had more than three decades of association with Toyota in Australia.
"Team principal Neal Bates is a four-time Australian rally champion and now his sons Harry and Lewis have taken up the rally challenge with growing success and we wish them the best of luck for the 2019 season," he said.
Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy campaigned a four-wheel drive Yaris AP4 rally car in the ARC in 2018 and finished the year in third position in the drivers'/co-drivers' standings after winning rallies in Victoria and South Australia.
Last year, Lewis and co-driver Dale Moscatt finished the year in fifth place overall in the ARC driving a Corolla S2000.
For 2019 however, with the factory support of Toyota, both Bates brothers will be driving a Yaris AP4 with Harry and John getting into a brand new rally car, and Lewis and Anthony in Harry's 2018 car.
The TGRA rally team has been working hard over the summer break to get the cars ready for the 2019 ARC season and Neal Bates said recent testing near its home base of Canberra proved they were on track to be highly competitive.
"It has been huge effort by the entire team to build the new car and fine tune our existing Yaris but both cars are fast and running well and we are confident going into the first round in WA," Mr Bates said.
"After a year and a half in the Yaris, Harry has really settled into the car and is driving better than ever and in a very short space of time, Lewis has really come to grips with the increased performance and handling that the Yaris offers compared with his previous Corolla.
"With the factory support of Toyota, we are really looking forward to getting the season underway and proving what a force Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia can be in local rallying," he said.
2019 Australian Rally Championship Calendar
Forest Rally - Busselton, WA
National Capital Rally - Canberra, ACT
Rally Tasmania - Launceston, Tasmania
Eureka Rush - Ballarat, Victoria
Adelaide Hills Rally - Mount Barker, SA
Rally Australia - NSW
Toyota Yaris AP4 Specifications
|Engine type:||1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder|
|Engine Designation:||2ZZ-GE (de-stroked from 1.8L to 1.6L)|
|Valve mechanism:||Twin-cam 16-valve|
|Restrictor Plate:||34mm restrictor plate|
|Bore x stroke (mm):||82.0 x 76.4|
|Exhaust:||Custom 2 ¾ inch|
|Intercooler:||Custom PWR Front-mount|
|ECU:||Motec M150 power management system and C125 display/logger|
|Driveline type:||All-wheel drive|
|Gearbox:||Sadev six-speed sequential|
|Differentials:||Sadev (front & rear)|
|Steering system:||Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion|
|Front brakes:||300mm x 30mm slotted discs, four-piston AP Racing callipers|
|Rear brakes:||300mm x 30mm slotted discs, four-piston AP Racing callipers|
|Hand Brake:||Sadev Hydraulic|
|Front suspension:||Independent MacPherson struts with MCA coil springs and remote-reservoir dampers|
|Rear suspension:||Independent MacPherson struts with MCA coil springs and remote-reservoir dampers|
|Wheels:||Speedline 15 x 7.0 "|
|Battery:||Braille dry cell|
|Fuel Tank:||75L ATL Fuel Cell|
|Steering Wheel:||Sabelt 330mm|
|Roll Cage:||Custom chrome moly|
|Dimensions:||Minimum dry weight: 1230kg |
Overall length: 3945mm
Toyota has a proud international motorsport history spanning more than 60 years. It became the first Japanese car manufacturer to enter international motorsport when it contested the 1957 Mobilgas Round Australia Rally, which is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota GAZOO Racing contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar rally. Closer to home, Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia supports the Toyota 86 Racing Series that seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category. In rallying, Toyota also supports the Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team in the Australian Rally Championship.
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