Shamrock Motorsport’s Richie Dalton has confirmed he will be behind the wheel of the 2019 Championship and 2020 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Cup winning Toyota Yaris AP4 in 2021.
Dalton will compete a full Championship campaign in the car previously steered by Harry Bates, with a chassis that has yet to lose a rally.
The two Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia prepared Yaris AP4s have now been sold, as the factory team prepares to welcome the brand new GR Yaris AP4 to the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) in 2021.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia will still have a connection to the Yaris, with the team to prepare and support the previous evolution Yaris at each ARC event.
“I am really excited (about 2021) and to have the Toyota factory team’s support – it’s a big step and I am proud to be part of being run by the team,” Dalton said.
“In a car like this, the plan is to run every event and do the whole season and try to keep those other Toyotas honest.”
The car was the second Toyota Yaris AP4 built by the Neal Bates Motorsport team, and hasn’t lost an event since its debut in the 2019 ARC season.
“It’s hard to say no pressure, and with the luck of the Irish, we’ll see what happens,” Dalton added.
Dalton will again sit alongside accomplished co-driver Dale Moscatt, the pair having previously competed together in Dalton’s G4 Ford Fiesta.
“He’s got tonnes of experience and I’ve already learnt so much from him, and he keeps me on the straight and narrow,” Dalton said.
Moscatt himself was eager to get the 2021 campaign underway and was confident he and Dalton would make an impact on the Championship.
“I’ve been in the Neal Bates Motorsport team before, I know how professional it is… so to be able to rely on the best team in the country and know that we just concentrate on our jobs and all the rest of it is taken care of is a big step for Richie,” Moscatt said.
“We’re going to try and make the most of that, we’ll be able to have testing in between events we’ve not been able to do before, so hopefully we can hit the ground running come the start of next year.
“The thing about Richie is that it seems like he’s been around a while, but he actually hasn’t done a lot of rallying. There have been periods where he hasn’t competed for significant amounts of time – so it’s hard to keep jumping back in when you’re not doing it all the time.
“I think he’s made some very good steps in the last couple of years and hopefully a good, fast, consistent car is going to be the key to keep progressing forward.”
Dalton and Moscatt will compete in the Yaris in their first official ARC commitment at the pre-season test day on 16 February, before the Netier National Capital Rally opens the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship in March 2021.