Now that everyone is there, the party can begin! In a matter of days the future hybrid of the WRC has become a very tangible present. And it is that, given the existing problems in the hybrid systems of Compact Dynamics, the ‘Rally1’ category was having trouble getting started. Despite everything, with just two days of difference, Hyundai Motorsport has published the first teaser of its Hyundai i20 N Rally1 and Toyota’s ‘Rally1’ was seen in action for the first time. Although it is difficult to know its configuration, the truth is the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 already rolls in the Finnish stages.
Toyota kicked off its ‘Rally1’ program with a test session in southern France. In this test, the Japanese firm ended up working with a test mule without a hybrid system, since the unit supplied by Compact Dynamics showed reliability failures. In this circumstance, the brand weighed down its test car to try to simulate the weight of the hybrid system. An emergency solution that has allowed Toyota Gazoo Racing, in some way, to continue with its test program. A circumstance that has allowed the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 is ‘hunted’ by Finnish fans on the fast stages of the Scandinavian country.
Although it is difficult to say what configuration the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 had or if the brand has been able to use the hybrid system, what does seem clear is that Juho Hänninen has been commissioned to carry out the first test kilometers with this test mule. A vehicle that, as is customary, wore a camouflage livery that tries to hide its forms, but cannot avoid showing some small details of its design. In the end, Toyota’s ‘Rally1’ is based on the production GR Yaris, so its differences with the current Toyota Yaris WRC are obvious.
This is how the M-Sport Ford Fiesta ‘Rally1’ sounds in its first tests
Roughly, The Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 features simplified aerodynamics with respect to its predecessor, something derived from the new regulations that will regulate hybrid ‘Rally1’ vehicles from 2022. Despite everything, it can also be seen as the design, size and configuration of the air intakes has changed, especially in the rear area of the car, in front of the rear axle. In the end, the needs of a ‘Rally1’ will be different from those of World Rally Cars and the cooling of the hybrid system must be taken into account when shaping the final design of the cars.