Toyota Australia has thrown its support behind its local round of the World Rally Championship, with a ‘leading’ sponsorship deal for this year’s Rally Australia.
The agreement will see Toyota act as the exclusive vehicle provider for the event, and dovetails with the brand’s return to the World Championship with the WRC-spec Yaris.
Toyota has a strong rallying heritage in Australia, with two lengthy stints as an official manufacturer in the Australian Rally Championship between 1990 and 2008.
Former factory squad Neal Bates Motorsport still runs Corollas in the ARC, with Neal Bates’ son Harry currently leading the ARC standings over Molly Taylor – who, ironically, is the daughter of Neal Bates’ long-time co-driver Coral Taylor.
According to Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb, the Rally Australia sponsorship deal is a reflection of the brand’s commitment to rallying both locally and on the world stage.
“Toyota’s commitment to rallying comes from the very top, with our global president Akio Toyoda firmly believing that overcoming the extreme challenges of motorsport is vital in our quest to build ever-better cars,” Cramb said.
“There is a strong bond between Toyota and rallying going back to the 1970s with four WRC drivers’ and three WRC manufacturers’ titles at the global level.
“We are also proud of our relationship with four-time Australian Rally Champions Neal Bates and Coral Taylor – a 25-year relationship during which time Toyota has also won two local manufacturers’ titles.
“We expect to see the Bates clan – including Neal’s sons Harry and Lewis – competing at their usual high standard during this year’s event.”
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|Drivers||Jari-Matti Latvala , Juho Hanninen , Esapekka Lappi|
|Author||Andrew van Leeuwen|