Toyota won’t test 2021 WRC car yet despite rule change

Testing ban on WRC-spec machinery has been lifted by the FIA - but Toyota won't be running its GR Yaris mule

Toyota GR Yaris WRC Testing

Toyota will not test its 2021-specification GR Yaris WRC this month, despite the relaxing of the World Rally Championship’s testing ban.

From today all three WRC teams – Toyota, M-Sport and Hyundai – are permitted to test their Rally1-spec cars again after a blanket ban put into place in April was lifted.

The WRC manufacturers’ points leader had previously sought a special exemption to test its 2021 car during the coronavirus-induced shutdown but had its request swiftly dismissed.

Toyota will prioritise reacquainting Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä with the current Yaris WRC over development of its all-new 2021 car when testing reconvenes.

TGR technical director Tom Fowler told DirtFish: “Our three drivers are all still fairly fresh into the car and they’ve never tested a full Finland set-up. It’s important when they’ve been away from the car for a while that we get them comfortable and up to speed with the car for the next event.

“In a more normal season and one where the drivers had been with the team for longer, we would have run the [new] car, but we’re a bit on the back foot in terms of the drivers’ knowledge of the car for this year, so that’s where the focus lies.”

Asked who would be testing first, Fowler said: “We know we’ll have Kalle in the car – he lives in Finland. We’re working on getting Séb [Ogier] and Elfyn [Evans] to the test. If that’s not possible, Kalle could do some more running and we have Juho [Hänninen] with us as well.”