- Toyota returns for a third year as Official Car Partner to Wales Rally GB
- Fleet of Toyota C-HR, Hilux, Land Cruiser and Proace Verso models will support smooth running of the WRC event
- Toyota a Wales-based manufacturer, producing engines for its self-charging hybrid models in Deeside
- Yaris WRC targets further success after winning Manufacturers’ Championship for Toyota in 2018
Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, is delighted to announce that Toyota has renewed its successful partnership as the ‘Official Car Partner’ for this autumn’s event.
This year’s new-look rally – staged from 3-6 October – features a number of exciting innovations including a Ceremonial Start in Liverpool, a street stage in Colwyn Bay, and a Service Park in Llandudno. And for the third year in succession, a range of Toyota vehicles will be helping to put the show on the road.
As ‘Official Car Partner’, Toyota will be supplying a fleet of liveried vehicles for use on the event by key members of the organisation team, safety crews and international dignitaries.
The versatility of the company’s range will be fully demonstrated with Land Cruisers employed as Safety Cars running on the rally route ahead of the competition cars, Toyota Hilux pick-ups used by crews setting up the competitive stages and Proace Verso MPVs ferrying rally personnel between venues.
A number of stylish and cost-effective Toyota C-HR hybrids will also be playing their part. Pertinently, these are powered by state-of-the-art petrol-electric hybrid engines produced locally in north Wales at Toyota Manufacturing UK’s factory in Deeside, Flintshire.
Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 with a factory-backed team of Yaris WRCs run by four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen. The newly-arrived TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team made an immediate impression and last year its three-pronged driving attack of Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi clinched the coveted FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.
Fuelling further British interest, Lappi has now been replaced by Kris Meeke with co-driver Seb Marshall; Ulsterman Meeke currently holds fifth place in the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, while Tänak is in second spot having already amassed three wins from the opening seven rounds, most recently back-to-back victories in Chile and Portugal.
“We are delighted that Toyota is extending its role as ‘Official Car Partner’ to Wales Rally GB for what’s clearly going to be another world class event,” said Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK, organiser of Wales Rally GB.
“Whether it’s setting up the new ‘grand depart’ in Liverpool or making sure spectators are safe in the forests, the logistics and demands of staging a major World Championship event are enormous, and we couldn’t possibly overcome these challenges without the support of major partners such as Toyota. Its fleet of impressive cars and SUVs has proved absolutely invaluable to the successful organisation and running of Wales Rally GB for the past two years and will do so again come October.”
The partnership between Wales Rally GB and Toyota once again will see the title-winning Yaris WRC car featuring prominently on much of the 2019 event’s new-look promotional materials including posters and publicity flyers as well as on the walesrallygb.com website and the cover of the official programme.
Toyota is also supporting a schools’ competition organised by the Welsh Government and Wales Rally GB. Youngsters will have the chance to create a new rally car livery, with the winning design applied to a Toyota GT86 coupe and displayed throughout the rally in the Big Bang event located adjacent to the Service Park in Llandudno.
Andrew Cullis, Toyota (GB) Communications and Product Director, said: “Wales Rally GB is a spectacular sporting occasion that’s accessible to thousands of fans of all ages. While the Yaris WRC promises to be in the forefront of the action on the stages, we are delighted once again to be supporting the organisation with a fleet of vehicles, and inspiring younger people to engage with cars and rallying through the popular livery competition. The fact we build engines for our self-charging hybrid vehicles in Wales makes our involvement all the more rewarding.”