Belfast Telegraph

Toyota set for rally rehab

Toyota will begin the process of rebuilding its battered brand by entering a team in the 2011 World Rally Championship.

After a torrid past 12 months, when it was forced to recall thousands of faulty cars, the Japanese firm is expected to re-enter rallying after an 11-year hiatus.

A spokesman for Toyota Motorsports said: "We want to be prepared if and when we get a call from Japan to go and compete."

Toyota is expected to team up with the British team, Prodrive, chaired by David Richards, who also chairs Aston Martin. Last year Mr Richards turned down a chance to re-enter the F1 fray, a move that Richards says was driven by concern for the welfare of his 579 staff.

"I wasn't prepared to risk everyone's livelihoods," he says, adding: "It was quite interesting to watch the reaction of everybody when I told them. The biggest fear people at Prodrive had is that we were going to risk everything on one throw of the dice by entering F1."

Belfast Telegraph