Racing Wheel : Thrustmaster T500RS + Shift TH8R
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The Toyota Corolla is a car rally based on the Toyota Corolla with approval World Rally Car . It was used by the official team of Toyota from 1997 to 1999. He debuted in the Finland Rally in 1997 and won a constructors’ title in 1999, four thirty victories and podiums.
In 1996 Toyota was serving a penalty imposed by the FIA which prohibited compete in the World Rally Championship because of an irregularity in the Toyota Celica GT4 during the season 1995. However the Japanese returned in 1997 with a new car the Toyota Corolla WRC, the first vehicle of the Japanese home of the category World Rally Car. 1 The Corolla WRC like their contemporaries, was a motor vehicle turbocharged, four drive wheels and was also based on his counterpart in series, the which however did not have these features. This meant for Audi engineers about 400 hours of work to adapt the chassis of the car racing street where most of the work focused on reinforcing the frame, assemble and weld the safety cage and mounting suspensions and transmission. The engine, which was located about 20 mm further back and reinforcements in the stands, was similar to that used in the Celica GT-4 and developed 300 hp maximum power allowed by the regulations and a torque of 500 Nm. Unlike his predecessor Corolla developed his power of 3,500 to 7,250 rpm, while the Celica only reached 6,000. This gave the engine Corolla greater elasticity, important especially for asphalt rallies. One of the great innovations of the Japanese car was the introduction of a sequential gearbox, but included the classic H-shaped, if this failed. The lever was connected to the gearbox electronically. The car introduced an electrohydraulic transmission with three differentials, which then became widespread in the post World Rally Cars. On the external side, the Corolla was a little shorter than your opponents car of the time, which made it more agile, also the weight distribution was more balanced, with 54% of its weight on the front axle located , somewhat less than with respect to the Celica.
The Corolla WRC debut in Rally Finland 1997 with Didier Auriol and Marcus Grönholm as authors, and also with good feelings because the Finnish came to lead the race until he left due to mechanical problems. Meanwhile Auriol was eighth, pilot ran five tests this year with the car and achieved the best result of the year: third place in the Rally of Australia , and therefore also awarded the winners of the Corolla WRC its first podium. Gronholm meanwhile, participated in the RAC where he finished fifth.
After a year of brand tuned he faced the 1998 season with Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz , known pilots of the house and they knew what it was to get the world championship with Toyota, which joined with different drivers sporadic appearances: Gronholm (Finland), Fujimoto (Indonesia), Andrea Aghini (San Remo), Freddy Loix (Portugal) and Armin Schwarz (RAC). The year began with a win in Monte Carlo Sainz hand then scored his second victory with the Corolla WRC in New Zealand, while Auriol also got a victory in the Rally de Catalunya, and both Sainz and the team were runners-up. The worst moment was undoubtedly in the last race. Rally of Great Britain, Sainz came with chances crowned world champion and after an early abandonment of the championship leader, Tommi Makinen , the Spanish had only to finish fourth to be crowned champion. However only 500 meters from the finish line Toyota Corolla WRC had enough. Engine connecting rod broke and with it the hopes of the pilot crowned champions for the third time
In 1999 Corolla results were no better than the previous year. Auriol clinched victory in the Rally of China , the only year for the car and the last under his belt, several podiums and finished third while Sainz finished on the podium eight times and finished fifth. The regularity of both drivers enabled the brand crowned world champion for the third time in its history. However that was the last year of Toyota in the world since he left the specialty to focus on Formula 1 . The Corolla WRC continued to appear in the world championship but in the hands of private pilots with modest results.