• Jun 21, 2010
In any form of motorsport, manufacturers come and go, but the sport continues to be shaped by the teams and the major players that lead them. So when Subaru packed up and left the World Rally Championship, you knew it was only a matter of time before David Richards and his company Prodrive would be back on stage. Now it looks like that opportunity could come from Toyota.

Richards has made no secret of his desire to bring Prodrive back to the WRC, but rather than re-enter as a privateer, he's indicated that the new outfit will be fielded under the auspices of a major manufacturer. Given the ties which Richards has fostered with Toyota – particularly over the Cygnet/iQ deal which be brokered with the Japanese auto giant in his capacity as chairman of Aston Martin – and the reported presence of Toyota scouts at several rallies recently, the signs are pointing towards Toyota's involvement.

It's been over a decade since the Japanese automaker has competed in the WRC, but recently trimmed a significant drain on its motorsport budget by withdrawing from Formula One. A top-tier rally team is tipped to cost around 8% of what Toyota had been pouring into its over-funded F1 program. And speaking of F1, Richards has for the time being abandoned aspirations to return to grand prix racing, having run both the Benetton and BAR-Honda teams in the past. But he leaves F1 with an intriguing suggestion to replace the current qualifying system with a computerized grid that would rotate the starting order with each race, thereby mixing up the outcome of each race. Interesting, but the Toyota reports seem more plausible.

[Source: Pitpass]


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  • 20 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So are Prodrive coming in with both Mini - the worst kept secret in the WRC - and Toyota, or is this story just plain wrong?

      I'm betting on the latter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. I thought Prodrive is currently working with BMW to field a MINI Countryman in the WRC. BMW left F1, as well. Can Prodrive be associated with both?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The more the merrier I say.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This sounds interesting, I wonder if they will run as a way to promote Scion outside of the US. Growing up, I remember the Celica GTS All-Trac... that was one sweet car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When Subaru's away, ProDrive will play... with Toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say they all return like the good ol' times. Audi, Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi,etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Blame the FIA and its regulations.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Those weren't the good old days, the good old days were Ford Escort, Ford Escort. Ford Escort, Ford Escort, Talbot Sunbeam. But I'm an olds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I assume they will be entering using the new S2000 + WRC kit rules, hopefully this will get a few more manufacturers back into WRC. Still the best form of sport on 4 wheels (Moto GP the best overall of course) but will be even better with a bigger field.
      Cant wait.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I welcome Prodrive and Toyota back into the game. With only two manufactures running its not as exciting.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't believe how many comments this is getting so many comments discussing it like it will happen.

      Prodrive are coming back to the WRC with Mini... fact.
      http://www.rallybuzz.com/mini-wrc-on-target/
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I heard too. Not sure where this Toyota stuff has come from.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It'll never happen, but could you imagine an awd 300 hp yaris? But like I said, will never happen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why? They have nothing remotely interesting. And they cheated last time. Go play with other boring motorsports like Nascar to match your boring company, Toyota.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota FR-S rally. :D
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