The regulation changes will see the WRC challengers of 2017 exceed 400BHP and bring a huge amount of downforce. If the rallying wasn’t an aggressive test between man and machine already, 2017 will turn it up a notch.
Each of this year’s competitors will be pushed into the unknown. Toyota are also returning to the sport with the meanest looking Toyota Yaris imaginable. Seeing a Yaris looking this fierce is like seeing a substitute geography teacher knock out Conor McGregor. It shouldn’t be possible, but it is! (In the Yaris example… Dat Teacha’ll Do fookin Nuttin’)
Toyota started their journey in Motorsport in 1972 with a rally entry, but have been missing from the WRC since 1999. The Japanese manufacturer has produced some of the most iconic and recognisable rally cars of all time, including the Toyota Corolla and Celica.
They return to the Championship at an exciting time. The regulations are drawing comparisons to the golden yet fatal era or Group B in the 80’s. This time, there’ll be better safety though.
The reason behind the celebration of the Group B era wasn’t just purely based on the ultimate speed obtained, but also because Rally had never been more sophisticated. The freedom to max out saw a boom in engineering advancement.
To put Group B into context, in 1981, a year before the introduction of the use of high-tech lightweight composites and a restriction lift on boosts, the field was reaching about 250BHP. In 1982, when Group B was born, cars were quickly exceeding 500BHP.
It’s great that the WRC is edging towards something similar in 2017, with crowd control in place to assure that the negatives of the Group B era wont be repeated. If you’re not excited about the upcoming WRC season, you should be!