Toy­ota R5 could be on the way

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Toy­ota will pro­duce a Yaris R5 car – but not un­til 2018.

Tommi Maki­nen says his Fin­land-based or­gan­i­sa­tion has al­ready started think­ing about the new car, with plenty of en­cour­age­ment from Ja­pan.

Maki­nen ad­mit­ted this pro­ject could be taken on by Toy­ota Mo­tor­sport in Cologne. So far TMG’S only par­tic­i­pa­tion in the car gi­ant’s re­turn to the World Rally Cham­pi­onship is in the de­vel­op­ment of the en­gine for the Yaris WRC.

“As soon as we have time to con­cen­trate on that, we will do,” said Maki­nen. “We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing dif­fer­ent ar­eas al­ready. We talk to TMG peo­ple and, of course, Toy­ota Mo­tor Com­pany to see what is their over­all mar­ket and sit­u­a­tion. We have in­ves­ti­gated that area. We also have the young Ja­panese driv­ers [Daiki Arai and Takamoto Kat­suta] this could be in­ter­est­ing for them to work on the de­vel­op­ment of the car.

“This is def­i­nitely not for 2017. The first year would be 2018. If we could start now, we could have a car ready late in ’17, but I don’t see any point in bring­ing the pro­duc­tion for­ward if the car is not fast enough.

“We will con­cen­trate our pro­duc­tion to make the car right.”

Maki­nen has bol­stered his squad with the re­cruit­ment of fur­ther tech­ni­cians, in­clud­ing around five new staff who have come from the Bri­tish M-sport squad.

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