Toyota rally history. The Forgotten WRC Victories (Monte Carlo, 1991)

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Spends these months Auto Motor Klassiek the magazine focuses on Toyota's rally history. In a diptych, we describe the background to the contemporary competition success of the largest manufacturer in the world. A success story that started in Belgium. This history is full of background stories. That is why we also share special events from that history with you online. Today part 5: Toyota Team Europe's first victory Monte Carlo, 1991.

The Toyota-Monte Carlo combination has not existed for a long, long time. And that while Jan Hettema in 1968 with the 1600 GT-5 (RT55) kicked off the European Toyota in one of the most prestigious rallies on the calendar. In 1969 and 1970 there is again Toyota participation. During the first edition of the seventies, two Toyota teams drive the Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo. The duos Hettema-Gericke and Elford-Stone man two brand new Corona Mark II 1900 GSS units.

Toyota is long absent in Monte Carlo rally

The head is off, albeit without success. From 1971 (the year in which the later TTE boss Ove Andersson and David Stone with Alpine-Renault Monte Carlo win) Toyota has been missing from the Monte Carlo rally for years. Until 1989 private Toyota drivers (a few teams aside) and later TTE ignore the illustrious event. By the way, Andersson Motorsport (which will later become TTE) has prepared a Corolla Levin TE27 for the 1974 edition. However, the oil crisis throws a spanner in the works of Monegasque, a line is put through Monte Carlo of that season. The 64s delivered good results by TTE under the leadership of driver / manager Ove Andersson. During the eighties Toyota Team Europe dominates in Africa, the Celica TCT (TAXNUMX) in particular, and its teams are no match. But in Monte Carlo, Toyota - or rather TTE - is not active for years.

"No competitive material for Monte Carlo for years"

Toyota rally archivist Benny Heuvinck found out the reason. Was it a political game? Or a rational choice? Heuvinck unfolds that secret. “I made inquiries within the old and close-knit TTE circle and the explanation for the long absence is actually simple. Toyota didn't have the right competitive equipment for specific rallies like Monte Carlo and San Remo. In addition, in the eighties they mainly opted for long-distance rallies. The TA64 proved why that was the right choice. And don't forget the budgets at the time, which also presented TTE with choices to skip certain rallies. Certainly if there was no competing material available. ”

New rally ace

However, for the 1989 season, TTE has a new asset. Budgets have been increased. And the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165 has to link up with the Group A violence that has now been unleashed mainly by Lancia. The new Celica, homologated on May 1, 1988, is the first Toyota in the WRC circuit with four-wheel drive. Furthermore, the 3S-GTE 2 liter engine with Toyota CT26 turbocharger, good for 300 HP, is installed. For rally purposes, this ST165 is of course equipped with highly adapted mechanics.

1990: Driver's title for TTE, but no Monte Carlo victory yet

In 1989 Toyota is finally back in the existing since 1911 Monegasque rally. It is also officially the first Monte Carlo in which Toyota Team Europe is active. In 1990 TTE picks the first with the Celica GT-Four Monegasque fruits. The duo Carlos Sainz-Luis Moya finished second, a formidable performance that is the prelude to the rest of the season. The Spaniards become world champions. That global title is the first for a team in a Toyota and the first drivers world title for TTE. Moreover, Toyota is only six points (137 to 131) behind Lancia in second place in the manufacturer's final position. But the Monte Carlo scalp is still missing from TTE's trophy cabinet. And there, that will change in 1991.

Monte Carlo 1991: very exciting

The 1991 edition of the Rally Automobiles de Monte-Carlo will be held from January 24 to January 30, 1991. It is divided into three stages, the 165 participants must complete a total of 27 special stages. The total rally distance is 627 kilometers, the surface traditionally consists of snow and asphalt. From the outset, Monte Carlo 1991 was blood-curdlingly exciting. The first special stage takes place on the Col de Turini, and there the Spanish team Carlos Sainz-Luis Moya takes the lead with the Celica. The Spaniards hold onto the first place up to and including Loda-Lucaram (special stage 18). After special stage 19, the French team Francois Delecour / Anne-Chantal Pauwels is two seconds ahead of the Spanish Toyota / TTE team with the very fast Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4 x 4). And after the next KP, the Spaniards are back on top, they keep this up until Moulinet-La Bollène Vésubie (KP23). After the next special stage (Col de la Couillole 2), Delecour and Pauwels take the lead again, with a lead of two seconds.

Final classification stage decisive

Then there are three more tests on the roll. During KP numbers 25 and 26 to unpack in favor of the French duo. The Ford team has increased the lead over Sainz and Moya to 41 seconds. The last stage from Moulinet to La Bollène Vésubie 3 measures over 22 kilometers. Sainz and Moya simultaneously drive a solid test in which they finish fifth, 22 seconds behind Bruno Saby and Daniel Grataloup. However, it is especially important what time Delecour and Pauwels achieve.

French attackers go down, Sainz and Moya win

The French competitors of Sainz and Moya have problems with the suspension in the final test. This is also why Delecour and Pauwels finish 5 minutes and 53 seconds later than the Spanish TTE team. It takes the first Toyota victory in Monte Carlo, also thanks to the fantastic rally tool called Celica GT-Four. Neither on the French Ford team, nor on the Spaniards is almost the entire rally without measure. But the French attackers suddenly drop to third place after the last test, second place in the final ranking is for the Martini-Lancia team Miki Biaison and Tiziano Siviero, almost five minutes from Sainz and Moya. A total of 75 teams make it to the finish line.

Andersson wins Monte Carlo as driver and manager

Manager Ove Andersson also hails a fourth place in the Monte Carlo '91. Armin Schwarz and Anderssons' old comrade Arne Hertz sign up for this, also with the Celica GT-Four ST 165. Moreover, Ove Andersson can now say that he won you both as a driver and as a manager the Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo. And that is a major achievement, which was completed after the blood-curdling 1991 edition of Monte Carlo.

You can find more articles about the forgotten Toyota WRC victories here.

Many thanks to Benny Heuvinck and Ron Moës




Give a reaction
  1. Yes the ST165 GT4 is a great car and I should know because I have had one in top condition for 7 years and yes I have the 3S GTE ENGINE but what I don't understand is the value when I look at and Escort MK2 with and hope tralala to get some horsepower in them then they are worth a fortune when I see that and Delta Integrale and car that is very fragile passes the 40k and then it is and 4 doors what else is not allowed as an M3 E30 today is worth 70k how come my Toyota is worthless explain to me

  2. Well the renowned TA64,…. you have seen the block of it Erik, ... the 4T-GTE, .. You will probably see it again, but in a different guise, ... in a TA64 RHD JDM that still roams around Dendermonde 😉

    • Awesome. That is a good prospect. And yes… .. It was special to come face to face with the 4T-GTE engine, you pointed it out to me especially then. I would like to experience that again. Beautiful day then

  3. during the introduction of the Lexus RX-400 Hybrid in Canada, Mr. Toyoda himself said
    that the "Toyota" developments can be compared to a Glacier, it shifts very slowly,
    but no one can stop them once it starts moving.
    I've worked for Lexus long enough to confirm that. Looks like they never have
    really hurry, but everything is tried for a long time. Was the same with their Rallies.
    What a wonderful article,

    Thanks everyone

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