Toyota wrap up Manufacturers’ title
Toyota has won back-to-back Australian Rally Championship manufacturers’ titles after a dominant display by Team TRD at the Great Lakes Rally in New South Wales.
Toyota wrapped up the title in style with Simon and Sue Evans winning their tenth-straight heat and scoring their fifth-straight overall win for the season at the new Forster-based event.
The Evans duo led home team-mates Neal Bates and co-driver Coral Taylor for a 1-2 finish – capping another strong event for Team TRD.
The result also means that only a TRD driver now has a mathematical chance of winning this year’s drivers’ title.
Evans holds a 119-point lead over Bates and with only 121.5 points on offer at the season-ending Rally of Melbourne, defending-champion Evans looks set to claim back-to-back drivers’ championships.
Team boss Bates was overjoyed with the team’s performance, especially since it has spent so much time this year developing and building the new Super 2000 Corolla.
"It is an amazing achievement to wrap up the manufacturers’ championship so early when we’ve spent the year developing brand new technology in the S2000 car," said Bates.
"I am over the moon and the entire team should be very proud of winning the title with three heats to spare."
Bates’ praise for the team was shared by Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner.
"It is a fantastic result to secure a consecutive Australian Rally Championship manufacturers’ title," Mr Buttner said.
"It is a credit to Neal and everyone at Team TRD that Toyota has won the title at the penultimate round – and just proves what a fantastic job the team has been doing all season to run the Group N (Prototype) Corolla alongside the all-new S2000.
"This result not only further proves the world-class capabilities of Team TRD’s engineers, but highlights the all-round capabilities of the all-new Corolla."
2007 has been a bumper year for Team TRD, with the Evans duo winning every heat and every round, including the remarkable feat of winning every stage of the Queensland and Canberra rounds.
Bates and co-driver Taylor have spent the year developing the new S2000 Corolla and scored the first-ever ARC podium for an S2000 car on its debut in Canberra.
With all other competitors now mathematically unable to win the drivers’ crown, one of TRD’s drivers will win Toyota a consecutive – and fifth-ever – ARC drivers’ title.
Team TRD’s next event is the season-ending Rally of Melbourne from 10-11 November, situated in and around the Yarra Valley.