Toyota has pulled out of the Australian Rally Championship, with immediate effect. 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.