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Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia



** Toyota announces new Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team **
** Harry Bates to drive Yaris AP4 in final round of ARC and WRC2 **
** Two-car factory-backed team to compete in 2019 ARC season **

Toyota Australia is significantly boosting its support for local motorsport, announcing the formation of a factory-backed Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team to campaign two Yaris AP4 rally cars in the Australian Rally Championship.

The new rally team will make its debut with leading Australian driver Harry Bates behind the wheel of the Yaris at Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour from November 15-18.

Bates and co-driver John McCarthy will compete in the final rounds of both the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) and the WRC2 classification in the World Rally Championship.

Next year, the factory-backed rally team will add a second Yaris AP4 driven by Lewis Bates with both cars competing in the 2019 Australian Rally Championship season.

Toyota chief marketing officer Wayne Gabriel said the announcement of the new Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team marked the beginning of new era for Toyota motorsport in Australia.

"Toyota has always recognised the value of participating in motorsport as a means of developing ever more durable, reliable and exciting cars," Mr Gabriel said.

"This is a philosophy that underpins Toyota GAZOO Racing that runs the global motorsports program - including the leading World Rally Championship team - which in turn, feeds into its development of our new sports and performance cars.

"Australians have long had an enthusiastic appetite for motorsport and performance cars and we are committed to delivering the excitement they offer through initiatives like the new rally team we are launching today.

"Harry Bates is a very talented driver who comes from Australian rallying royalty with his father, Neal, having won four Australian titles driving his legendary Celica GT-Four in the 1990s and then the Corolla S2000 in 2008.

"Now with the factory backing of Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia, we have no doubt Harry and Lewis will carry on the Bates family success."

Both Harry and Lewis Bates have been competing in the 2018 ARC season with Harry in the Toyota Genuine Parts-sponsored Yaris and Lewis driving a Corolla S2000.

Going into the final ARC round at Rally Australia, Harry Bates is currently sitting second in the driver's championship and is in contention for the drivers' title, with Lewis in sixth place.

The new Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia rally team will be headed by Neal Bates and based in Canberra, running out of the premises of Neal Bates Motorsport.

Team principal Neal Bates said he was proud to have had a long and successful partnership with Toyota and was looking forward running the team under the Australian arm of the global Toyota GAZOO Racing brand.

"Our long history with Toyota in Australia has been a great one for me personally with its support helping myself and Coral Taylor, my long-term co driver, to four Australian titles," Mr Bates said.

"I am immensely proud that Harry and Lewis can continue our very strong partnership with the brand and we as a team have the opportunity to run under the Toyota GAZOO Racing banner that is growing across the globe."

Toyota GAZOO Racing was established by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan in April 2015 as the unifying brand for all its motorsport activities including the World Rally Championship and Le Mans-winning World Endurance Championship teams.

In 2017, Toyota GAZOO Racing harnessed that experience gained through motorsport and added the GR product brand to develop sports cars and components for special edition models.


1957: Toyota's global debut in motorsport with a Toyopet Crown entered in the Mobilgas Rally (round Australia) driven by two Japanese Toyota employees with an Australian navigator. The team completed the 14,500km rally finishing in third place among foreign entries

1975: Hannu Mikkola takes first win for the factory-backed Toyota team in a WRC event at the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland in a Group 4 Corolla Levin TE27

1979: First ever Toyota entry in the Dakar Rally

1984-86: Toyota wins three consecutive WRC Safari Rallies in East Africa, considered at the time to be the toughest in the championship

1989: Juha Kankkunen wins the first WRC Rally Australia in Perth in a Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165

1990: Nine podium finishes including four wins for Carlos Sainz in a Celica GT-Four gives Toyota its first WRC drivers' championship title

1993: Toyota becomes the first Japanese carmaker to win a WRC manufacturers' title, with Juha Kankkunen winning his first drivers' championship with Toyota

1993: Neal Bates and Coral Taylor win the first Australian Rally Championship title for Toyota in a Celica GT-Four

1995: Toyota Australia team of Bates/Taylor win their third consecutive Australian Rally Championship title

1999: Toyota wins its third WRC manufacturer's title with the Corolla WRC and ceases its factory-backed WRC involvement to concentrate on other forms of motorsport

2008: Bates and Taylor win Australian Rally Championship for Toyota in a Corolla S2000

2017: Toyota GAZOO Racing re-enters the World Rally Championship with the Yaris WRC and a team of three drivers under team principal, former world champion Tommi Mäkinen.

2017: Jari-Matti Latvala wins Rally Sweden for Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT in only its second rally since re-entering WRC. Latvala finishes the 13-round season in fourth place in the drivers' standings

2018: Toyota leads manufacturers' standings in WRC after four rally wins in Argentina, Finland, Germany and Turkey with only Rally Australia remaining

2018: Three Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT drivers in the top five led by Ott Tänak in third place with only the final round at Rally Australia remaining

For more information, please contact:

James Wang
Senior Lifestyle and Motorsport Public Relations Consultant
Mob: (0431) 431 082

Brodie Bott
Manager, Public Affairs
Mob: (0448) 027 143

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Toyota GAZOO Racing is active in a variety of motorsports around the world and takes the experience gained in racing to create cars and components for Toyota's GR sports car brand.

While officially formed in April, 2015 to bring Toyota's global motorsports activities under one brand, the history of Toyota GAZOO Racing really began in 2007.

After witnessing the cars being developed by rival carmakers during the manufacturer-only Industry Pool test days at Germany's famous Nürburgring racing circuit, Toyota's now president Akio Toyoda was determined to re-energise Toyota's motorsports involvement.

Toyoda, together with a number of other Toyota employees, formed a team and purchased two second-hand Toyota Altezza RS200s from a Japanese dealership and modified the cars so they could enter the gruelling 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race.

As an unofficial exercise, the team of eight non-professional racing drivers and a number of mechanics ran under the name GAZOO Racing and in its first outing, it saw both cars complete the full 24-hour race.

Spurred on by its achievement, GAZOO Racing has competed in the 24 Hours Nürburgring every year since.

In 2012, under the banner of Toyota Racing, Toyota took its renewed motorsport ambitions to a global level entering the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship with two TS030 HYBRID sports cars making their debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Victory at Le Mans eluded the team but it completed the season with wins in the 6-hour races at San Paulo, Fuji and Shanghai.

By 2014, Toyota Racing was at the top of its game, winning both the manufacturers' and drivers' titles in the eight-round WEC that year.

With the success of the WEC HYBRID sports car, Toyota was determined and committed to again make motorsport a fundamental activity in its process to develop better cars - under one brand, with one goal.

Speaking at the Yamaha test circuit in 2016, Toyoda said: "In March 1952, my grandfather Kiichiro Toyoda said, 'This is not mere curiosity. These motorsports are vital for the automobile business, for the automobile industry, and for making ever-better cars.' These words were the starting point for Toyota's motorsport activities. Last year, I made the decision to once again start the company's motorsport activities afresh, again setting these words as our principle."

Under the new banner of Toyota GAZOO Racing, Toyota continues to compete in the WEC and in 2017, re-entered the World Rally Championship with a three car team that had its first win that year in Rally Sweden, in only its second start.

In 2018, Toyota GAZOO Racing's HYBRID sports car won the jewel in the WEC crown with a 1-2 finish at Le Mans and in the WRC season, Toyota is currently leading the manufacturers' standings with all three drivers in the top five on the leaderboard.

What's in a name?

The name GAZOO was conceived by current president Akio Toyoda about 20 years ago, with origins that were unrelated to motorsport.

At the time, Toyoda was a Toyota regional sales manager in Japan and together with a group of volunteers, developed an online photo sales system for second hand vehicles.

The idea was that cars being traded into dealers would be advertised online using just photographs before they went on display in dealerships with the aim of creating interest and reducing the lead times before they were resold.

With the internet in its infancy this was regarded as a radical idea in the mid-1990s and critics within Toyota claimed it would not work. As a result, it was not officially sanctioned by Toyota so the site was named after the Japanese word for photograph or image - gazo.

When Toyoda and the team entered the 24 Hours Nürburgring in 2007, the unofficial nature of the entry made GAZOO the perfect name for the new racing team.

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Neal Bates
Team Principal

Born: March 19, 1965
Nationality: Australian

ARC debut: 1986 Alpine Rally
ARC wins: 33
ARC podiums: 40
ARC championships: 4 (1993, 1994, 1995, 2008)

Career Highlights:
• 2013/14: Wins in Classic Rally of Otago (NZ) against former WRC champions
• 2008: Fourth ARC championship title with co-driver Coral Taylor
• 1995: Overall win in Targa Tasmania in Celica GT-Four with Coral Taylor

Harry Bates

Born: March 8, 1995
Nationality: Australian

ARC debut: 2015 National Capital Rally
ARC starts: 19
ARC wins: 4
ARC podiums: 9

Career Highlights:

• 2018: Wins in Eureka Rally - first in the Yaris AP4
• 2017: First ARC win in Eureka Rally and youngest ever winner in ARC
• 2016: First ARC stage and heat win in Forest Rally in WA
• 2015: Podium finish (3rd place) on ARC debut in National Capital Rally

John McCarthy

Born: July 14, 1979
Nationality: Australian

ARC debut: 2008 Rally South Australia
ARC starts: 45
ARC wins: 5
ARC podiums: 11

Career Highlights:
• 2017: Win in National Capital Rally, the last event in the Corolla S2000
• 2015: First event co-driving with Harry Bates in National Capital Rally resulting in a podium finish
• 2011: First win in ARC in Rally Australia

Lewis Bates

Born: March 8, 1997
Nationality: Australian

ARC debut: 2017 Eureka Rally
ARC starts: 9

Career Highlight
• 2018: Finished fourth outright in Eureka Rally in Corolla S2000. Only second rally in the 11-year-old car with stage times less than 1s/km off the leaders


Tommi Mäkinen
Team Principal

Born: June 26, 1964
Nationality: Finnish

WRC debut: 1987 1000 Lakes Rally
WRC starts: 139
WRC wins: 24
WRC podiums: 45
WRC championships: 4 (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)

Career Highlights:

• 2016: Becomes Team Principal of Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
• 1999: Fourth consecutive WRC championship title
• 1996: Five rally wins and takes first WRC championship
• 1994: First WRC win in 1000 Lakes Rally

Jari-Matti Latvala

Born: April 3, 1985
Nationality: Finnish

WRC debut: 2002 Rally Great Britain
WRC starts: 193
WRC wins: 17
WRC podiums: 64

Career highlights:
• 2014/15: Runner up in consecutive WRC seasons
• 2010: Runner up in WRC season
• 2008: First WRC win in Rally Sweden

Miikka Anttila

Born: September 10, 1972
Nationality: Finnish

WRC debut: 1999 Rally Finland
WRC starts: 204
WRC wins: 17
WRC podiums: 64

Career Highlights
• 2014/15: Runner up in consecutive WRC seasons
• 2010: Runner up in WRC season
• 2008: First WRC win in Rally Sweden

Ott Tänak

Born: October 15, 1987
Nationality: Estonian

WRC debut: 2009 Rally Portugal
WRC starts: 90
WRC wins: 6
WRC podiums: 17

Career highlights:
• 2017: Third overall in WRC season
• 2017: First WRC win in Rally Sardinia
• 2011: Runner up in SWRC season

Martin Järveoja

Born: August 18, 1987
Nationality: Estonian

WRC debut: 2010 Jordan Rally
WRC starts: 61
WRC wins: 6
WRC podiums: 13

Career highlights:
• 2017: Third overall in WRC season
• 2017: First WRC win in Rally Sardinia
• 2014: First WRC2 win in Rally Sweden

Esapekka Lappi

Born: January 17, 1991
Nationality: Finnish

WRC debut: 2011 Rally Finland
WRC starts: 40
WRC wins: 1
WRC podiums: 4

Career highlights:
• 2017: First WRC win in Rally Finland
• 2016: Overall winner of WRC2 season
• 2013: First WRC2 win in Rally Portugal

Janne Ferm

Born: August 29, 1980
Nationality: Finnish

WRC debut: 2011 Rally Finland
WRC starts: 40
WRC wins: 1
WRC podiums: 4

Career highlights:
• 2017: First WRC win in Rally Finland
• 2016: Overall winner of WRC2 season
• 2013: First WRC2 win in Rally Portugal

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Model:Toyota Yaris
Engine type:1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Engine Designation:2ZZ-GE (de-stroked from 1.8L to 1.6L)
Valve mechanism:Twin-cam 16-valve
Fuel system:Bosch
Restrictor Plate:34mm restrictor plate
Bore x stroke (mm):82.0 x 76.4
Compression ratio:10.5:1
Turbocharger:Garrett 2560
Exhaust:Custom 2 ¾ inch
Intercooler:Custom PWR Front-mount
ECU:Motec M150 power management system and C125 display/logger
Maximum Power:300hp/224kW
Maximum Torque:420Nm
Driveline type:All-wheel drive
Gearbox:Sadev six-speed sequential
Differentials:Sadev (front & rear)
Steering system:Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion
Front brakes:300mm x 30mm slotted discs, four-piston AP Racing callipers
Rear brakes:300mm x 30mm slotted discs, four-piston AP Racing callipers
Hand Brake:Sadev Hydraulic
Front suspension:Independent MacPherson struts with MCA coil springs and remote-reservoir dampers
Rear suspension:Independent MacPherson struts with MCA coil springs and remote-reservoir dampers
Wheels:Speedline 15 x 7.0 "
Tyres:MRF 205/65R15
Battery:Braille dry cell
Fuel Tank:75L ATL Fuel Cell
Seats:Racetech RT9119
Harness:6-point Sabelt
Steering Wheel:Sabelt 330mm
Roll Cage:Custom chrome moly
Dimensions:Minimum dry weight: 1230kg
Overall length: 3945mm
Width: 1820mm
Height: 1485mm
Wheelbase: 2525mm

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Toyota GAZOO Racing targets title glory in Australia

Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally Team travels to Rally Australia (November 15-18) for the final round of the 2018 season, aiming to claim the manufacturers' championship in which it currently holds a 12-point lead. Ott Tänak remains in contention for the drivers' title, 23 points behind the leader, with his fellow Toyota Yaris WRC drivers Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala also within the top five in the standings.

Based in Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales coast, mid-way between Sydney and Brisbane, Rally Australia features a mixture of gravel roads, from twisting forest tracks to more open and flowing country roads.

After shakedown on Thursday morning, the first competitive action will be on Friday to the north of Coffs Harbour, with the new Orara East and Coldwater stages and the unchanged Sherwood all run twice. Saturday's loop is based to the south and includes two new stages that use parts of the old Nambucca test, plus Urunga and the Raleigh raceway. Both Friday and Saturday end with two runs over a short, water-side asphalt test in Coffs Harbour. The final day of the season on Sunday features three stages all run twice, with the Wedding Bells Power Stage followed closely by the podium ceremony.

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)

"This has been a thrilling season with many ups and downs, and everything is set for a very exciting final round in Australia. We have a great opportunity in front of us: to win a championship in just our second year would a fantastic achievement. As always, it is not going to be easy, but we have reasons to be confident. We showed good performance on gravel in Britain and in Spain, and we seem to have found some improvements in these kinds of conditions, which are quite similar to what we should face in Australia. Everybody is working hard towards our target, and with a strong car and three strong drivers, I think we have a good chance to reach it."

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
"I am really looking forward to Australia. It is a rally that I really enjoy a lot. Firstly, the atmopshere is relaxed and the weather is usually great, so it's a nice place to end the season. Then there are the stages: they have made a lot of changes to the route this year, but we have driven most of the roads before and we know that they are usually quite fast, which is of course what I like! I am going there confident after the speed we have shown recently, and I hope to get a good result to help us to win the championship."

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
"I am going to give it my all in Australia. I still have a mathematical chance in the drivers' championship, and even though it is not really in my hands, I will keep pushing and not give up. In the manufacturers' championship we have the advantage and I think we are in a very strong position. In particular, we can be confident in how our car has been performing on gravel over recent events. Rally Australia is always a challenging event but many of the roads are fast and flowing, and this suits us well."

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
"I really want to finish on a high in Australia, and to help the team to win the manufacturers' championship. Last year, this rally for me was all about gaining experience, and hopefully I can use that to have a stronger performance this time. If the weather is dry then we know that the road sweeping will be a big challenge, as there is so much loose gravel on the surface. I got some practice running first on the road there last year, but we also found that it can rain quite heavily. Then, the grip levels can change a lot through the forests."

The statistics (Rally Australia):

YearJari-Matti LatvalaOtt TänakEsapekka Lappi

What happened last year?
The Toyota Yaris WRC completed its debut season with a competitive showing in Australia. Jari-Matti Latvala held second place until an off on the final stage, but still clinched fourth in the drivers' championship. Team-mate Esapekka Lappi completed the rally in sixth overall as the team finished third in the manufacturers' standings.

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