*TMG-run GT86 CS-R3 for three-time European champion
*Italian ace tries out car upgrades on Rally Rzeszow
*Botarrelli also in action in Motorsport Italia entry
TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH will use the FIA European Rally Championship to showcase its uprated GT86 CS-R3 to potential customers.
Luca Rossetti, winner of the coveted ERC title three times, is entered on Rally Rzeszow in Poland from 3-5 August when he will be a contender for ERC3 class honours in his TMG-run car.
And there will be a second GT86 CS-R3 in action on the asphalt event with rising star Luca Bottarelli competing in a Motorsport Italia-run entry with backing from the Italian motorsport federation’s ACI Team Italia junior driver initiative.
Co-driven by fellow Italian Eleanora Mori, Rossetti will build on the development work he carried out during a class-winning outing on the Transilvania Rally in Romania earlier this year, sampling an upgraded engine featuring improved torque, modified gear ratios, a new Milltek Sport exhaust system and reduced weight.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very pleased to welcome TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH back to the European Rally Championship. With a strong potential customer base, high-level competition and excellent media coverage, the ERC provides a number of benefits to manufacturers showcasing their products and services. And given his achievements in rallying, it’s great that the young drivers competing in ERC3 can prove their talent against a very established and successful driver in Luca Rossetti, whose vast achievements in the ERC means he needs no introduction.”
Emanuele Battisti, Customer Motorsport Project Leader at TMG, said: “It’s great to see two GT86 CS-R3 cars competing in Rally Rzeszow and it’s particularly satisfying that the new ACI Team Italia project will use a CS-R3 to promote young talent. We wish ACI Team Italia and Motorsport Italia all the best with this new programme. After winning our class on the Transilvania Rally earlier this year, clearly we expect to be a frontrunner again with our updated car.”
Rally Rzeszow takes place on narrow, winding asphalt roads in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in southeast Poland with steep climbs and tricky descents commonplace.
A regular on the Polish and Slovakian national championship calendars, Rally Rzeszow joined the ERC roster in 2016. Eleven stages over 214.63 competitive kilometres, including a city-centre test in rally hub Rzeszów, provide the challenge for crews.