Turn That Dirt-filled Frown Upside Down
But wait! While WRC is the most well-known rally organization, there are other organizations for the GR Yaris to compete in. Toyota Australia has announced that it will campaign a pair of GR Yaris rally cars in hopes of defending their 2019 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship. The automaker’s product planning and development team joined forces with Neal Bates Motorsport, an outfit that’s found great success in rally, to build on the very capable GR platform and it’s set to hit the dirt in less than a month. You won’t find a better platform to build upon given the fact that the GR Yaris was originally designed in anticipation of rally competition.
Footage of the GR Yaris in Action (Volume Up!)
The project was built upon the AP4 class rules, or Asian Pacific 4WD, which is similar to WRC’s Rally2 and R5 class. Guidelines include maintaining the car’s factory roof and doors, but the rest of the exterior can be reworked to maximize aero benefit and aid cooling. Being that the GR Yaris is already armed with a carbon fiber roof and relatively lightweight aluminum doors from the factory, the team has a notable weight advantage. That didn’t stop them from pulling additional pounds from other panels, including designing a fiberglass hood and hatch, as well as swapping the glass windows for acrylic. Another slick addition are 3D printed, featherweight side mirrors and hood vents.
The car’s crash diet ultimately brings its weight under the 2,700 pound class minimum, which means the team will have to add some weight back in, but it gives them the ability to adjust ballast on the vehicle in order to find the right formula for each course. While hyperactive turbo I-3 can certainly be coaxed to belt out quite a bit of additional grunt, class regulations require an air restrictor and boost is limited to 22 PSI in order to level the playing field. A custom turbo manifold is employed as well as a few other tricks on the factory long block, and we expect the power curve is modified significantly to suit the task at hand. Power is transferred to the tarmac by way of a 6-speed Sadev sequential transmission fitted with Bates Motorsport’s hand-picked ratios.
All in the Family
Bates’ sons, Australian rally champ, Harry, and 2019 runner up, Lewis, are tasked with piloting the all-new entries and will kick off the 2021 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship in Canberra during the Netier National Capital Rally’s three-day event, which begins April 9.