Published on February 13th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota to enter the RAV4 in American rally championships
The Toyota RAV4 that Ryan Millen piloted last year to four out of five Western U.S. victories is about to take an even bigger stage. This year Toyota and Millen of the famed Millen family of racing legends will take their rally racing all over the U.S., from California to New York to Michigan just to name a few stops along the action-packed race schedule.
Millen and Toyota will chase both the Atlantic Rally Cup and the Pacific Rally Cup in NASA’s Rally Sport series. The team will also be vying for the National Championship. Just last month, Ryan netted a solid second place finish in Rally America’s Sno*Drift Rally, a great lead-up to the upcoming season. Speaking of Rally America (RA), the team will also compete in other select RA races for 2016.
This year, Millen will campaign a RAV4 SE, new for the 2016 model year. Millen’s refreshed vehicle was unveiled today at the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota has not made any powertrain modifications, as the rally car is powered by a stock RAV4 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 176 horsepower and 172 pounds-feet of torque. The crossover was built to compete in the 2WD-Open Class so it is fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission that spins the front wheels only.
Most modifications are safety, communications, and convenience related. They include such items as a stout roll cage, driver/navigator comm. system, and air vents and helmet boxes. Prior to driving the Rally RAV4 last year, Millen won his class in the 2014 Baja 1000 in a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
The team’s first NASA Rally Sport race of the season will take place on March 5 in Cheraw, South Carolina at the Sandblast Rally where over 60 cars and nearly 40 motorcycles are entered.