Toyota appears set to return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) next year after an absence from the sport of over a decade. Last week we reported on Toyota’s fact-finding missions at several WRC races, and now the Japanese automaker has been linked to Prodrive – a motorsports company that helped Subaru rise to fame in the sport. Prodrive is also part owner of Aston Martin – which Toyota has a good working relationship with, donating the iQ Chassis for Aston’s Cygnet mini-car.
An unnamed Toyota Motorsport representative was recently quoted as saying that, “We want to be prepared if and when we get a call from Japan to go and compete.”
The news comes as Prodrive boss David Richards announced he would not risk the company’s financial stability on a Formula 1 gamble. Toyota recently pulled from F1, suggesting it may look to other motorsports activities.
Prodrive has also been linked to a MINI entry in WRC, although rumors suggest the holdup on that side is BMW’s unwillingness to fun the entire project.
Either way, a Prodrive spokesman has confirmed that, “we will be back in the championship next year with a manufacturer.”
Toyota has won 43 rallies and 3 world championships in the WRC series, with famous drivers like Carlos Sainz behind the wheel, often using vehicles running the now famous white, red and green Castrol livery.