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Thread: Toyota pull out of Australian Rally Championship

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    Senior Member mack 10's Avatar
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    Default Toyota pull out of Australian Rally Championship


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    The world’s most successful car company have cited the current financial situation as the reason for their withdrawal, which leaves their Australian Championship-winning drivers, Neal Bates and Simon Evans, out of a drive.



    The decision comes just two weeks prior to the opening round of the ARC, Rally Tasmania, from February 13-15.

    Toyota’s Public Relations Manager, Mike Breen, told www.rallysportmag.com.au this evening that it was disappointing that the company had to withdraw from the ARC after such a long and successful history in the championship.

    Toyota have won the past three national titles – two for Evans, and a third for Bates last year.

    Breen said that Neal Bates was hoping to continue in the ARC, dependant on the Canberra driver being able to secure sufficient sponsorship.

    Toyota, one of the strongest supporters of the ARC, will be sadly missed from the sport.

    The three times manufacturers' title-holder has left the door open for its rally team principal, National Driver's Champion Neal Bates, and other team members to enter the drivers' championship without works support.

    Toyota has appointed Bates as a company ambassador with a range of opportunities to represent it in the community.

    The decision not to enter the championship had not been taken lightly, Toyota senior executive director Dave Buttner said.

    Toyota has been the longest standing manufacturer supporter of the Australian Rally Championship in the series' 41-year history.

    It has entered the championship successively since 1990 and has won the manufacturer's title three times. Its drivers have won it six times.

    Neal Bates has full use and ownership of Toyota's rally team, including its world-leading S2000 Corollas that in 2008 became the first S2000 cars in the world to win a national rally title.

    "Neal is a legend for Toyota and in Australian motorsport," Dave Buttner said.

    "In appointing Neal an ambassador we have indicated our desire to continue our 20 year relationship."

    Neal Bates was discovered by Toyota in a unique Star Search program in 1989, run as part of the Australian Touring Car Championship.

    He was chosen over eight under-25 year-old motorsport aspirants, each of whom raced a works Toyota Corolla in one round of the national series.

    Bates went on to win his class in the Bathurst 1000 that year with fellow Star Search driver Michael Dowson.

    Within two years Bates was competing in the Australian Rally Championship in a Toyota Celica with Toyota support.

    He and co-driver Coral Taylor won the national title in 1993, '94 and '95 in a Celica, and then won it again last year in the S2000 Corolla that was designed and built by Bates with Toyota backing.

    Teammates Simon and Sue Evans were third in last year's title after winning it the previous two years in a Group N (Prototype) Corolla.

    Mr Buttner said Toyota's decision had been made to enable the company to best service its employees and its customers.

    "The decision was made incredibly difficult because there was emotion, enthusiasm and friendship involved," Mr Buttner said.

    "It is not a reflection on the performance of Neal Bates and his team and it is important to recognise the brilliant contribution made by every team member," he said.

    "Toyota has won the Australian Rally Championship for the last three years as a manufacturer and its drivers - Neal and Coral and Simon and Sue - have won it as competitors.

    "In that respect there could not be a better position from which to make decisions for the future.

    "We wish both crews the best of good fortune in their future."
    Stolen from www.rallysportmag.com.au but im sure they will find a way to drive. Great opportunity for mazda or honda to enter with some decent steerers and talkers.


    "the magic formula for gravel rallying: 1000kg, 300hp and 4 cylinders."

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    Fucking soft Toyota, just after beating GM for most sales of vehicles ever.

    Honda wont they just pulled out of F1

    Mazda wont, they are partly owned and mainly controlled by Ford who are financially up shit creek also.
    RT142 Estate.

    AJPS.

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    Veteran slydar's Avatar
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    soft? you dont get to the top by being soft. you get to the top by being smart.

    when theres heaps of cash around.. hey sure, fling some at some pointless competition.. but.. honestly. whats sort of returns do you think theyre getting by competing in the ARC?

    no offense to rally fans, pointless i mean from a marketing point of view.

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    I tought this car would be the back door way to see Toyota in the WRC in 2010 with an S2000, obviously not.. I still dont know why they got involved in F1 in the 1st place. Should have stuck with Rallying & Touring car... boooooo Toyota. Their current fleet of sports cars is impressive.

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    Senior Member Moebius's Avatar
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    Not a huge surprise, after they canned TRD. The ARC will be better off without a single S2000 manufacturer anyway. Better competition this way.

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    I expect Neil Bates and the rest of them to continue to race. If not at the next rally, the one after that. Maybe even with the same car, just different stickers. Will be interesting to see. Next one is in Tasmania I believe.

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    Veteran Jonny Rochester's Avatar
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    http://www.rallysportmag.com.au/home...=3408&Itemid=2

    Well there you go. Neil Bates will do the tarmac round in Tassie in 2 weeks. He owns the business so can do what he wants. Only the vinal stickers may say something else, which may not be decided till the last minute.

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    Veteran slydar's Avatar
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    yeah, it clearly says toyota are happy for him to continue to drive a toyota in competition, theyre just not gonna pay for it.

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    Veteran Jonny Rochester's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bates 012.jpg 
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    Just found this picture from years ago. Maybe way off topic. The toolbox on the left is mine, but I had no connection to the team. It was just my workspace. I got a T-shirt, that was it.

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    whats happening to the cars? does neil own one or do toyota? will they sell them off?


    Quote Originally Posted by ae86 View Post
    ive come to the conclusion dan has more STi's than a Subaru Dealership, yeah i went there

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