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RECORD-BREAKING RALLY COROLLA WINS CAR OF THE YEAR

Toyota Racing Development's dual Australian Rally Championship-winning Group N (P) Corolla has been awarded Auto Action magazine's Race Car of the Year award, marking yet another prize for Toyota's all-conquering team.

The car that Simon Evans drove to an ARC clean-sweep in 2007 tied for the prize with Ferrari's championship-winning F2007 Formula One car.

The Race Car of the Year award is voted on by Auto Action's readers.

Developed and built in Canberra by TRD rally team boss Neal Bates and his crew of expert engineers led by team manager Darryl Bush, the Group N (P) Corolla has won the last two ARC titles in the hands of Evans.

Auto Action praised the car's performances and the ingenuity of the TRD engineers.

"That Bates' TRD Rally Team created such a dominant rally car should not be a surprise," stated the magazine.

"But the fact that Simon Evans used the hybrid Corolla with the Celica GT-Four's running gear to annihilate rally-bred rockets from Subaru and Mitsubishi for the past two seasons - including a clean sweep of every event in 2007 - is an outstanding achievement.

"And, all that at the same time the team was developing its own S2000 machines for the future."

The Group N (P) was first run in the ARC at the end of the 2002 season, after World Rally Championship-spec cars were banned from domestic rallying.

Although the ban meant Bates' WRC-spec Corolla was unable to participate, Toyota did not even miss a full season of Australian rallying due to the efforts of Bates and his team in building and developing the Group N (P) Corolla.

Since its full-time debut at the start of 2003, the Group N (P) has secured 11 overall wins, 21 heat wins and 29 podiums.

In the last two years it has secured two ARC drivers' crowns with Evans and helped Toyota win back-to-back manufacturers' titles.

The readers of Auto Action voted the Group N (P) Corolla and Ferrari F2007 the joint winners ahead of the Porsche RS Spyder of former Toyota F1 reserve driver, Australian Ryan Briscoe, and Holden's VE Commodore V8 Supercar.

...ends/50030-1

For more information contact:
Todd Connolly
Motorsport manager
todd.connolly@toyota.com.au
T: 0438 249 808



 
IMAGES
Toyota's Group N (P) rally rocket has won the Australian equivalent of Britain's prestigious Autosport Awards.