Toyota's Yaris WRC test car made its public debut today at the Paris Motor Show, with Microsoft confirmed as the team's latest backer.
Team principal and four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Makinen drove the car onto the stage and in addition to the news that Microsoft will serve as a 'technology partner' for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC rally team, the car was also adorned with the logos of DMG MORI and the Panasonic Corporation, two companies that have partnered with Toyota for its 2017 WRC endeavour.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: “I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways. Based on the on-going partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote 'ever-better cars'.”
Toyota's expected driver line-up announcement did not materialise, although test driver Juho Hanninen is understood to be one of the favourties, along with the likes of WRC2 front runners Esapekka Lappi, Pontus Tidemand, Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans.