The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed Forest Rally Stage mixes tight corners with flat out straights and was designed with the help of former World Rally Champion Hannu Mikkola.
This year, it hosts cars and top drivers from the history of rallying, including many of the current WRC teams and drivers. Toyota is bringing some of its most famous cars to this year’s event. You’ll find full details on each of them, below.
Celica GT-Four ST185
The Celica GT-Four ST185 (pictured below) was the rally car that landed Toyota its first World Rally Championship manufacturer’s title, in 1993.
The 295bhp all-wheel drive machine had already taken Spanish hero Carlos Sainz to his first driver’s title the previous year and it’s a ‘92 version that will be in action on the Goodwood rally stage.
The heroic Celica went on to power Finnish legend Juha Kankkunen and Frenchman Didier Auriol to the ’93 and ’94 championships. To meet International rally rules, Toyota also built and sold 5,000 road-legal versions of the car, many of which are still on the road today.
Celica GT-Four ST205
The turbocharged Celica GT-Four ST205 was Toyota’s last works-engineered rally Celica. It made its debut near the end of the ’94 WRC season.
In ’95 Juha Kankkunen and his British co-driver Nicky Grist posted a win in Corsica and five other podium finishes in the 2.0-litre machine, with additional cars driven by reigning champ Didier Auriol and German star Armin Schwarz.
Toyota returned to international rallying in ’97 with the Corolla WRC, a car hailed as the purest and most advanced competition machine it had ever built. It carried over some elements from the GT-Four, but had an all-new, ultra-compact design and was the first WRC contender to have a transverse-mounted engine.
After a – by Toyota standards – modest debut season, the mighty Corolla went on to post 13 top-three finishes in ’98 and 15 more in ’99, Sainz was famously denied the overall ’98 driver’s title on the final stage of the Rally GB, but in ’99 – Toyota’s last in the WRC – it’s dominance delivered the ultimate manufacturer’s honours.
Celica Group B
World rallying has never witnessed anything as awesomely powerful as the Group B cars of the mid-1980s. One of the greatest to take to the stages was Toyota’s Twin-Cam Celica TA64.
Packing 370bhp, this turbocharged wonder earned the title the “King of Africa” thanks to a clean sweep of the three Safari and Ivory Coast rallies between 1984 and 1986. The extreme conditions proved car-wreckers, but the triumphant Toyota proved it had not only the speed, but also the toughness to win through.
Hilux Dakar 2012
It’s been to the North and South Poles, it’s survived being blown up on Top Gear and now Toyota’s formidable Hilux has conquered the world’s longest and toughest motor race. And it didn’t break down once.
Three V8-powered Double Cabs – two from Toyota South Africa and a private Argentinian entry – gave Toyota a superb debut outing in 2012 Dakar rally. The event was a gruelling 15-day, 8,000km marathon across South America and at the finish the Toyota trio were in the top 10 in their class, led by legendary South African rally-raid specialist Giniel de Villiers in third.
The Corolla AE86 proved its worth in rallying as well as on the road. Classic Toyota specialists Midgley Motor Sport have rebuilt a 1.6-litre AE86 in full Team Toyota GB livery – not just for display, but for serious competition in the UK and overseas.
The Celica RA22 was a forerunner of the world-beating Toyota rally cars of the 1980s and ‘90s. The classic 1970s GT coupe proved itself to be a popular performer in national competitions in Europe. Goodwood will witness a beautifully restored RA22 demonstrating some of the great qualities of the rear-wheel drive machine.
You’ll find the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed Forest Rally Stage at the top of the hillclimb course.