Can Toyota learn much from its abandoned 2021 Yaris?

The canned GR Yaris won't be used for parts, but could be for learning


While nobody can get ahead in terms of actually testing 2022 Rally1 cars, Toyota’s aborted 2021 GR Yaris WRC will offer the Finland-based squad an edge in terms of learning and experience.

The 2021 car was binned earlier this season after Toyota Gazoo Racing elected to focus its attentions on the 2022 machine. While there won’t be any carryover of parts, there is plenty to learn from the car that never competed.

Toyota technical director Tom Fowler told DirtFish: “There is quite a lot of learning we’ve done. In terms of direct parts, it’s very minimal [carryover] because almost every single section of the regulation has got some change somewhere. So, to actually take a part from the car and move it is pretty much impossible.

“It’s all about the learning we took from the 2021 car. We tried some new things to understand if they worked or not and we can look at the results between the 2017 and [2021] car and take the best of each into 2022. It’s more like another round of learning rather than taking physical parts, unfortunately.”

As previously outlined on DirtFish, the one area tested is in crew ergonomics. Toyota ran Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä in the 2021 car last month to discover how comfortable they were – that data will be used in the 2022 Yaris.

“Obviously the cockpit compares [from ’21 to ’22 car]; the windscreen and windows is the same because we plan to use the same GR Yaris, should we say, outer shape,” Fowler continued.

“When we first tested the 2021 car, we had never put the range of drivers in to check is the visibility and pedal position OK. This is probably the one thing we take to the 2022 Yaris.”

Words:David Evans