Over the weekend Toyota Australia announced a sizable boost for not just local motorsport but fans of the Australian Rally Championship (ARC). For the remainder of this year and in 2019 a factory-backed team under the Toyota GAZOO racing banner will race two Yaris AP4 rally cars.

The team will launch this weekend at Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour, November 15-18. Led by Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy the newly formed duo will finish off this year’s ARC and WRC2 classification in the World Rally Championship in preparation for an even bigger 2019.

2019 will see the addition of a second Yaris AP4 driven by Lewis Bates. Toyota chief marketing officer Wayne Gabriel said, “Toyota has always recognised the value of participating in motorsport as a means of developing ever more durable, reliable and exciting cars,”

“This is a philosophy that underpins Toyota GAZOO Racing that runs the global motorsports program – including the leading World Rally Championship team – which in turn, feeds into its development of our new sports and performance cars.

“Australians have long had an enthusiastic appetite for motorsport and performance cars and we are committed to delivering the excitement they offer through initiatives like the new rally team we are launching today.

“Harry Bates is a very talented driver who comes from Australian rallying royalty with his father, Neal, having won four Australian titles driving his legendary Celica GT-Four in the 1990s and then the Corolla S2000 in 2008.

“Now with the factory backing of Toyota GAZOO Racing Australia, we have no doubt Harry and Lewis will carry on the Bates family success.”

Toyota GAZOO Racing formed in 2015 as an all-encompassing brand when it comes to Toyota motorsport. As reported recently the 2019 Toyota Supra will be the first vehicle to fall under the GAZOO racing or GR branding in Australia.