The GT86 CS-R3 rally car will be delayed until October due to an unforeseen technical issue, TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) can confirm. The rear-wheel-drive car was announced in November 2013 and delivery to the first customers was planned for May this year. However, despite an intensive test and development programme, a delay has become unavoidable. As a whole, the CS-R3 has performed very well during testing but selection of appropriate power steering has been a recurring difficulty. Due to the specific lay-out of the GT86, it has proved harder than expected to find a suitable power steering unit, which must be an off-the-shelf product according to FIA R3 regulations.
Late confirmation of the power steering specification requires another testing phase to ensure the final product meets TMG’s high standards. TMG is confident the final stage of development will be completed successfully but regrets that it has caused a delay in homologation. Delivery of the first kits is now scheduled for October, giving customers time to prepare for the 2016 season. Consequently, the first season of the HJS TMG GT86 CS-R3 Trophy has been postponed until 2016. As a gesture of goodwill, TMG will offer refunds and free entries to the 2016 Trophy for all participants who are already registered for the 2015 edition. TMG already commited to providing the winner of the 2015 Trophy with a test drive in the new TOYOTA World Rally car and this prize will be again offered next season, subject to specific conditions.
Nico Ehlert, Principal Engineer Customer Motorsport: “It is extremely frustrating that we must wait until next season to see customers competing with the CS-R3. The car is running very well in testing and we have received positive feedback from everyone who has driven it, from our professional test drivers to the potential customers attending our events. So it’s particularly disappointing that one component has had such a significant effect, but we’ve tried everything to keep to our schedule and unfortunately it was just not possible. We have a solution in place and I am sure the final result will be very positive.”