Local interest for Toyota’s new Corolla TCR
The entrance of Toyota onto the TCR scene is providing added interest for the global touring car category locally as the new Corolla continues its development and homologation process ahead of its formal debut later this year.
Built by Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina and revealed late last year, the Corolla GRS TCR is continuing to go through the category’s homologation process ahead of its first race in TCR South America later this year.
TCR promoter WSC Group’s rigorous homologation tests included wind tunnel testing at prestigious styling house Pininfarina’s facility in Grugliasco, Italy and engine testing by ORAL Engineering in Modena. This was conducted alongside another new model to the category, the Tecnodom Sport developed Fiat Tipo TCR.
Toyota’s recent Australian motorsport history lies in rallying, but it holds a long and distinguished circuit racing resume starting back in the late-1960s through to the early 1990s in touring cars. The marque has won Australian Manufacturers’ Championships and Under 2.0-litre titles alongside class victories at Bathurst with the Corolla, Celica and Supra nameplates.
Holding exclusive rights to develop and manufacture the Corolla GRS TCR, Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina has always held the aim of exporting the model to growing markets namely in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Current Australian Rally Champion Harry Bates revealed recently his interest in racing in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series and even confirmed early discussions have taken place to secure one of the Argentinean-built Corollas.
Bates comes from a family holding a long and successful history with Toyota in Australia.
Father Neal holds a relationship exceeding 30 years with the Japanese marque, which includes four Australian Rally Championships and a class victory at Bathurst personally.
In addition to his personal achievements, Neal Bates Motorsport has led the development of Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series and won four ARC Manufacturers’ Championship’s.
Most recently the Canberra-based team produced two new Toyota Yaris GR AP4s, for the Australian Rally Championship for Harry and his brother Lewis.
Currently, seven manufacturers are represented on the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series grid making it one of the most diverse in the world, with more expected to join.
The next round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia is at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.
CEO, Australian Racing Group
“Well, I think when you’ve got Toyota being the number one selling brand in the country and of course being a touring car series, you’d love to have Toyota represented,” Braid said.
“We’re watching it very closely. I think there’s a lot of interest. We know people are asking the right questions locally, so fingers crossed.
“I think you’ll see Toyota represented on the grid.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia, 2019 Australian Rally Champion
“It’s really exciting that obviously there is a Toyota (TCR Car) happening and I hope that we can see it in Australia one day,” Bates said.
“We’re certainly in talks about getting one here into Australia, so wait and see.
“Watch this space.
“I absolutely love the category and I’d love to have a steer in it one day.”