The British-based RED World Rally Team has announced that they have reached an agreement in-principal with Toyota South Africa, which will see them become an agent for the Toyota Super 2000 rally car.

The Toyota S2000 recently achieved full International homologation from the governing body of world motorsport, the FIA. The Toyota RunX was approved as complying with all the requirements for the recently introduced Super 2000 formula. Up until now the Fiat Punto was the only internationally homologated S2000 car.

"As many people know, I have worked very hard in search of a manufacturer partnership where both parties have a serious desire to work together with compatible aims and expectations from the relationship, in order to deliver real value for all concerned, most importantly for our customers," said RED team principal, Neil Gatt. "This deal with Toyota SA is very exciting indeed. Super 2000 is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

"Manufacturer involvement and interest in the formula is bigger than the current Group N class could ever achieve. The Toyota S2000 rally car is significantly more affordable than World Rally Cars, substantially more durable than Production cars and more fun to drive and watch as a spectator. The beauty of the Toyota S2000, compared to other manufacturers, such as Peugeot or Fiat is that the car has been running for two seasons in South Africa. Toyota SA has done a fantastic job in developing the performance and reliability of the car. It's now time to make it available to customers worldwide."

Super 2000 will be widely eligible for many regional and national championships in 2007 and in addition of course to the International Rally Challenge [IRC], which was launched this year, and created for Super 2000 cars, the cars will be able to compete in the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship, the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and the MSA British Rally Championship.

"RED intends to make available as many cars as demand requires," added Gatt. "We see the IRC as a very exciting, new championship, visiting many countries and continents. We want to make cars available to as many customers as possible who want to compete in the IRC and other championships, in a car that has proved it's performance and reliability over the last two years. Toyota SA is geared up for a significant increase in shell and main component production. We will run a number of marketing and test days around Rally GB time, where the many qualities of the car will be demonstrated to potential customers."

The first Toyota S2000 rally car is due to arrive in the UK next month. With the South African Championship being gravel, the first task for RED and Toyota S2000 damper-supplier Gordon Birtwistle of Proflex UK, will be to develop the asphalt version of the car and former Mitsubishi and Hyundai WRC works driver, Alister McRae has been signed up to help spearhead further development.