SA TOYOTA COROLLA S2000 FINISHES 25TH OVERALL ON RALLY WALES GB The South African-designed and built Toyota Corolla S2000, crewed by British pair Alister McRae and Gordon Noble, finished 25th overall and eighth in the Group N4 Class in the Rally...
SA TOYOTA COROLLA S2000 FINISHES 25TH OVERALL ON RALLY WALES GB
The South African-designed and built Toyota Corolla S2000, crewed by British pair Alister McRae and Gordon Noble, finished 25th overall and eighth in the Group N4 Class in the Rally Wales GB which finished in Cardiff today.
The event was the last world championship rally of the season and the Toyota, built in the Toyota Motorsport workshops in Sandton, made rally history on the event by becoming the first car to compete under the new FIA S2000 regulations. The normally aspirated Toyota was up against a horde of turbocharged fourwheel drive Subaru Impreza WRC and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo entries which have dominated Group N 4 in world rallying.
"We are delighted with the result," said Toyota Motorsport manager Wammy Haddad. "We brought the Corolla to this event, in conjunction wih the RED Rally Team, to evaluate and demonstrate the performance of the car against the strongest competition in the Group N4 class.
"We had a few problems along the way, but the car has shown it can compete against the established turbocharged entries. By winning special stages we proved that beyond a doubt."
McRae and Noble amply illustrated the Corolla's potential by winning four special stages on the event. And, but for a mishap on the final stage when they rolled, McRae and Noble could have finished higher up the leaderboatrd.
The roll, after a sudden downpour made roads extra slippery, saw the pair end up in a ditch. They could not extricate the car and were eventually classified 25th overall.
The Corolla was competing on the final day under the FIA Super Rally rules after a front suspension problem yesterday. A broken bolt on Special Stage 12 forced the crew to retire and rejoin the field yesterday with a penalty for two uncompleted stages.
"We had a disappointing end to the rally but Alister and Gordon did a tremendous job for us over the weekend," said Haddad. "Their experience and input have been invaluable, and from our point of view it is a case of a job well done.
"We have done what we set out to do."
-credit: toyota sa