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TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WORLD RALLY TEAM

PIAA is an official Partner of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT


2019 WRC Calendar - See www.wrc.com
1 Rallye Monte-Carlo 24 - 27 Jan 19
2 Rally Sweden 14 - 17 Feb 19
3 Rally Mexico 07 - 10 Mar 19
4 Tour de Corse 28 - 31 Mar 19
5 Rally Argentina 25 - 28 Apr 19
5. Rally Portugal 30 May - 2 Jun 19
6. Rally Italia Sardinia 13 - 16 Jun 19
8 Rally Finland 01 - 04 Aug 19
9 Rally Deutschland 22 - 25 Aug 19
10 Rally Turkey 12 - 15 Sep 19
11 Wales Rally GB 03 - 06 Oct 19
12 Rally de España - Catalunya 24 - 27 Oct 19
13 Rally Australia 14 - 18 Nov 19

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: October 27, 2019

TÄNAK TAKES HISTORIC FIRST TITLE WITH THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team driver Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja have made history by securing their first FIA World Rally Championship titles with a stunning second place finish on Rally de España.

Tänak becomes only the third different driver to claim the WRC crown since 2004, while he and Järveoja are the first Estonians to ever achieve the feat. It is the fifth occasion that a Toyota driver has won the WRC drivers’ title, and the first time since Didier Auriol triumphed in 1994.

Having won six of the 12 rallies so far, Tänak arrived at the penultimate round of the season with a 28-point advantage in the championship. In the series’ only true mixed-surface event, Tänak was fifth overall following the opening day on gravel, before four consecutive stage wins on asphalt on Saturday promoted him up into third place.

On Sunday he opened up a comfortable advantage over the driver behind, but still needed to push hard on the rally-ending Power Stage to secure the title. In an incredible run over the 20.72-kilometre stage, he was 3.6 seconds faster than anyone to not only take the full five bonus points, but also grab second place overall on the rally.

Jari-Matti Latvala finished in fifth position, scoring important points for the manufacturers’ championship, which Toyota remains in with a chance of winning at the final round of the season in Australia, 18 points from the leader. After retiring on Saturday morning following a crash, Kris Meeke returned to action on Sunday under restart rules.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Rally Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta successfully completed his second event at the top level in a separately-entered Toyota Yaris WRC, once again showing good progress even though a technical issue slowed him on Saturday.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This is a historic achievement: We have a new world champion. It’s a big reward for the whole team for the hard work they have done together with Ott and Martin through the whole season to reach this target. There has been a lot of pressure for Ott this weekend. I know what it’s like and I think it’s difficult for anyone else to understand what it means. What he did on the Power Stage, to do what he needed to get the title, was absolutely amazing. The second place helps us in the manufacturers’ championship as well. We will still have a chance in Australia and we will do our maximum there.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It’s hard to know what to say in this moment. The pressure this weekend has been on another level. This has been the target of my life. I knew I couldn’t make any mistakes, but still I had to do a good result to make it happen. So it was massive pressure and it was difficult to get used to it at the beginning. But in the end I was somehow able to relax and do my normal driving. This morning I had a good feeling in the car and could drive with a good rhythm, but Dani [Sordo] was always a bit faster, so I knew it would be hard in the Power Stage to get the points we needed. I pushed hard and in the end it paid off. I’ve had to overcome a lot in my career, so it’s nice to finally achieve this. Thank you to the team; they have done a great job.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I’m happy with my weekend. I think we had a consistent run and we didn’t really make any mistakes during the weekend, and the performance was overall at a good level. I was lacking some confidence at the start of this rally so I must be happy with the result and that we could score some good points for the team. Maybe we could have got fourth place today if I had pushed hard, but it would not have benefited us in the manufacturers’ championship and this was the most important thing, to keep it open going to the final round in Australia.”

Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“I enjoyed the rhythm back in the car today. We know that the Yaris WRC is really strong on asphalt, and I had a good feeling again this morning. We had to back off in the Power Stage because there was no way in which we could have helped Ott wrap up the championship, and it was important not to get in the mix and potentially take points away from him. We’ll go to Australia with something to fight for still in the manufacturers’ championship and we’ll give it our best.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY DE ESPAÑA
1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 3h07m39.6s
2 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +17.2s
3 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +17.6s
4 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +53.9s
5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m00.2s
6 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m14.2s
7 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m47.6s
8 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +4m20.5s
9 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +8m24.6s
10 Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (Citroën C3 R5) +8m47.2s
29 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +42m20.0s

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: October 6, 2019

VICTORY FOR TOYOTA GAZOO Racing AS TÄNAK TAKES MAXIMUM POINTS

Ott Tänak added to his FIA World Rally Championship lead by claiming maximum points on Rally GB, sealing his sixth win of the season in the Toyota Yaris WRC in style by setting the fastest time on the Power Stage. Team-mate Kris Meeke finished fourth to complete a strong points haul for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, which closes to within eight points of the lead in the manufacturers’ championship.

The final day of the rally consisted of two runs over the Alwen and Brenig stages in north Wales, with the asphalt Great Orme stage along the coast ultimately cancelled because the sea conditions meant there was insufficient safety cover.

Tänak, the leader of the rally since the end of Friday, began the day perfectly, outpacing his nearest rival by one tenth of a second to win the first pass over Alwen. He took an advantage of 9.5 seconds into the Power Stage, where he went fastest of all by half a second, beating his closest championship rival to the five bonus points on offer. He and co-driver Martin Järveoja’s final overall winning margin was 10.9s, and Tänak now leads by 28 points in the championship.

The Toyota Yaris WRC led the rally from start to finish, with Meeke having set the early pace before Tänak took over at the front. On the final day, Meeke made sure of his fourth place, clinching important points for the team.

Quotes:

Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman)
“TOYOTA GAZOO Racing won two FIA World Championship events (WEC and WRC) on the same weekend. We very nearly achieved this earlier this year, in June, and therefore after the Fuji race I was really hoping that we could also win in Wales. In heavy wind and rain and extreme road conditions, I am really happy to see Ott and Martin won Rally GB, believing in the team and the car after the issue that cost them points in Turkey. For the last two WRC events of the season, I truly hope for more victories and finally for their championships. Let’s make ever-better cars with all our teams. Thank you very much to all fans who support our activities in these two FIA world championships.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It has been an incredible rally. Ott did a perfect job: I know that this rally is one of the most difficult, but he controlled it all weekend under huge pressure. The Power Stage was incredibly exciting, and I think my heart rate is still recovering, but for Ott to get maximum points was amazing. His championship is looking good now: I’ve been in this situation and it’s very hard, but he’s managing everything very well. Kris also did a great job this weekend to score us important points for the manufacturers’ championship. We have two rallies to go: we just need to concentrate and do our job as well as we can.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It’s an amazing feeling to win. There’s a lot of people working behind us and with the effort they put it, it’s great to be rewarded like this with maximum points. On the Power Stage, I had full confidence in the car and I had to take the opportunity, as every point can be crucial. Our team slogan is ‘pushing the limits for better’ and I always try to do my best. We have two more rallies to come this season and certainly nothing is decided yet, so we need to keep pushing and keep focused.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY GB

1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h00m58.0s
2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +10.9s
3 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +23.8s
4 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.6s
5 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +48.6s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +58.2s
7 Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5m23.8s
8 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +9m25.0s
9 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Škoda Fabia R5 Evo) +10m51.1s
10 Petter Solberg/Phil Mills (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +11m36.1s
(Results as of 13:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What's next?
Rally de España (October 25-27) is the only WRC round run on both gravel and asphalt. After one day on gravel, teams are required to transfer the cars from gravel to asphalt specification within a 75-minute service. The asphalt stages that follow are smooth, fast and flowing, similar to racing circuits in their characteristics.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: September 15, 2019

A POWER STAGE WIN AND CRUCIAL POINTS FOR TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

Ott Tänak claimed the Power Stage win in his Toyota Yaris WRC while Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke secured crucial points for the manufactuers’ championship on the final day of a tough Rally Turkey.

Tänak restarted this morning, after he had to retire from the second leg of the rally on Saturday. His focus was on claiming the full five bonus points on offer in the Power Stage, even taking no spare tyres for the final loop of four stages to keep weight to a minimum. Even though he was running first of the World Rally Cars, Tänak achieved the fastest time by 2.6 seconds. It means he leads the drivers’ standings by 17 points with three rallies to go.

For Latvala and Meeke, the final day was mostly about consolidating their positions in sixth and seventh respectively, having slipped back in heavy rain on Friday afternoon and suffered from their subsequent road positions on Saturday. Their results ensure TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team are within 19 points of the lead of the manufacturers’ championship.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It was good that Ott could get the five points from the Power Stage today to boost his championship situation, and that Jari-Matti and Kris brought it home without any issues. Yesterday was difficult for us, and maybe we didn’t quite get our preparation right for this rally, because the conditions are so challenging. For the remaining rallies we know that we have good speed and we feel confident that we can be strong from now until the end of the season.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“We had nothing to lose today and we gave it everything, and we’re happy that we were able to get these points from the Power Stage. I’m sure it gives an extra boost and motivation going forward. Of course, it is still disappointing what happened yesterday. We always want to fight back and fight back hard. I’m sure everyone in the team will keep pushing. There are now three rounds left so there is nothing else we can do, other than push to the maximum and do our best.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I tried to keep a good rhythm today and enjoy the driving, and the stages were nice today, much better conditions and not so rocky and rough. We came here expecting that we would have more performance than last year, but it seems that all the teams have made some steps forward. We also did some work but we were struggling in the hard, rocky conditions and were using our tyres too much. This is something we have to learn for the future, but I know that the next rally in Wales will suit us a lot better.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY TURKEY
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) 3h50m12.1s
2 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) +34.7s
3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m04.5s
4 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m35.1s
5 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m25.9s
6 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m59.1s
7 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m53.3s

8 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +5m34.8s
9 Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +7m22.9s
10 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +15m18.7s
16 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +39m10.2s
(Results as of 14:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What's next?
Rally GB (October 3-6) takes place on gravel roads in the forests of Wales, which in dry conditions can be driven at fairly high speeds. In autumn the pace is often tempered by mud, which can make the surfaces treacherously slippery. Fog and even ice can add to the challenge, particularly early in the morning or late in the evening.

 

PRESS RELEASE: August 4, 2019

TÄNAK AND THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC SCORE ANOTHER FINLAND WIN

For the third year in a row, the Toyota Yaris WRC has won the fastest event on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Rally Finland. Ott Tänak repeated his victory from one year ago to increase his championship lead, while Jari-Matti Latvala finished third on his home event. It means the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team – which is based in Finland – maintains its record of getting two cars onto the podium on the event every year since its debut in 2017.

Tänak moved into the lead on Saturday following an intense battle with his team-mates, and took a lead of 16.4 seconds into the final day. He instantly increased that to 20s in the first of the final four stages, when he claimed his 200th career WRC stage win: also his 120th in the Yaris WRC and 50th so far this season.

Guided by co-driver Martin Järveoja, Tänak went on to set another fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage as he clinched his victory, outpacing his nearest rival by 0.7 seconds to take the maximum 30 points away from the rally. His championship lead increases to 22 points.

Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila took their eighth stage win of the event on SS21 on their way to sealing their first podium finish of the season. The double podium haul helps the team to close up to the leader in the manufacturers’ championship.

Kris Meeke had fought with team-mates Tänak and Latvala for the rally lead until he retired Saturday morning. He restarted the event this morning, but had to stop again in the penultimate stage when he hit a rock on the inside of a bend and damaged his car’s front-left corner.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman)
“TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT has won Rally Finland for the third year in a row in front of a huge amount of local supporters in its other home country, Finland. The city of Jyväskylä, the centre of the rally, welcomed us with the words “Welcome to My Home Roads”, just as last year. In addition, they called our car the “Hometown Hero”. I really appreciated the local people and also all the supporters across the globe cheering us on. Thank you very much. In the last event, Rally Italia Sardegna, we felt very disappointed. For six weeks since then, the team has kept working hard with strong commitments, ‘let’s make the best result at our home rally’, ‘let’s repay the kindness of the local people supporting us’. I want to send words of celebration and appreciation to Ott and Martin stood on the top of the podium, Jari-Matti and Miikka on the third step and all the team members: Congratulations! Thank you! I really wanted to deliver this message directly to you while being soaked in champagne on the podium like last year. In this year’s Rally Finland, all three Yaris WRC crews including Kris and Seb had a big fight for the victory from the beginning. At one point on Saturday morning, they were covered by just 0.6 seconds. I saw that each of them was really enjoying to drive the Yaris WRC. I strongly believe that such hard and enjoyable drives from our six drivers and co-drivers will make the Yaris ever better! The WRC season has moved into the second half. The team will keep fighting to secure the Manufacturers’ championship and to make our driver and co-driver become the World Rally Champions. To all the fans, I wish for your continuous support for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We continue to achieve great results here on the team’s home rally: To have our third win in a row here is fantastic. Ott seems to be so strong at the moment, and combined with our car, it’s a package that looks to be very difficult to beat. Like we saw on the Power Stage, he is able to do whatever he needs to do: He didn’t have to push flat out but he could still take the maximum points. It’s very good to have Jari-Matti on the podium as well. It helps us to catch up some ground in the manufacturers’ championship, and Ott has made a pretty good step forward in the drivers’ standings. Hopefully we can continue like this in the next events.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It feels really good to get this victory. It was very important to get a good result here to help us in both championships. I would say that this is a perfect result to begin the second part of the season. I think it’s a great boost for the whole team and now we need to keep pushing. I focused on having a clean run through the first three stages today, and then on the Power Stage I pushed. I tried to have a fast and clean run with no mistakes, and we were able to get the maximum points. Now we need to continue in the same way, starting with Germany.”

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: June 16, 2019

LATE HEARTBREAK FOR TÄNAK AND TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

After a very strong performance throughout the weekend, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team driver Ott Tänak was on course for his third straight victory on Rally Italia Sardegna when he was slowed in the very last stage by a steering issue. He ultimately finished in fifth position overall and ahead of his championship rivals on the gruelling gravel event, moving into the lead of the standings.

Tänak, his co-driver Martin Järveoja and the Toyota Yaris WRC had won every stage on Saturday as they moved into the rally lead and built a 25.9-second advantage that they took into Sunday’s final four stages. He maintained that advantage through the opening three stages before the steering problem on the rally-ending Power Stage, causing him to lose over two minutes.

Delayed by having to change a wheel on Saturday’s final test, Kris Meeke ended the rally in eighth position overall. Jari-Matti Latvala, who restarted yesterday following a retirement on the opening day, finished fourth in the Power Stage. Juho Hänninen, driving a fourth Yaris WRC entered privately by Tommi Mäkinen Racing, continued to gather useful testing data in the opening three stages before returning to service.

Quotes:

Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman)
“It was a heartbreaking ending to Rally Italia Sardegna.As I felt Ott and Martin’s strong ambition to bring me to the podium again, I was lost for words when I saw their car slowing down in the final stage. But I think the disappointment is bigger for the driver and the co-driver than for anyone else.
I’m very sorry that we couldn’t let the drivers drive through to the finish.I’m very sorry for all the fans who were watching the fight I have never before released any comment without a victory.But I want to convey my feelings via my own words this time.It was really important that I could see the competitions on site in Italy.
Takamoto said sorry to me after he retired from the rally.I don’t think he needed to say sorry.I’m looking forward to seeing Takamoto standing on the podium with the Yaris WRC in the future.We need to convert the experience from this rally into strength for the days to come Kris said to me that the Yaris gives him a very good feeling to drive.I’m very happy to hear that, when he's driving the car at an exhilarating speed.I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome one day.
Jari-Matti said to me that he will definitely bring me a good result next time. Having seen Jari-Matti’s struggling appearance many times, I am sure that good luck will come to him too.
And Ott…..I will never forget the regretful expression in his face when he got out of the car. He hugged with the mechanics one by one, facing the sadness with all of the team members. I was touched by this scene. I thought Ott and all the members of Car No. 8 must be the champion by any means from my heart.
What I can do is to make the Yaris the “even better car” and “ much more reliable car to continue driving”. I will carry out this goal together with Tommi by any means.
To all the fans, I wish for your continuous support for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT

Postscript
Kazuki, I saw you commenting with the tears after the win.I was impressed your feeling towards your teammates, Thank you.I felt TGR WEC team has become a really amazing team Kamui, I’m sorry for making you disappointed again. I feel sorry just as it’s my own affairs. Kazuki , Kamui, I firmly received both of your feelings, and swear to make an even stronger team and even better car.

Sébastien , Fernando and Kazuki; Mike, José and Kamui, All of you six guys are a really wonderful team. Great appreciation for winning Le Mans with a one-two finish and two consecutive wins in two years.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Today was one of the hardest moments for our team. Throughout the weekend, the car had shown such great performance and reliability. And then suddenly something happened in the final stage. Of course, we are investigating what caused the problem. It is a big disappointment for everybody, and especially difficult for Ott and Martin. They are leading the championship now but it would have been much better to go into the summer break having won each of the last three rallies. It will be a difficult feeling for the next few days, but I am sure that we can bounce back from this.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Very early in the final stage, something very strange happened with the steering and basically it was locked. We were stationary for some time, fighting to get the steering working. Somehow we managed to get going again, but there was a lot of time lost and so was the victory. I’m frustrated, but I also feel very sad for the team. Everybody put so much effort in for this event and in the end to lose it in this way is really a shame. I’m sure that the team will work hard to solve the problem, and we will keep fighting. It’s been a tough season so far but the championship situation is much better than it was at the same time last year. Now it’s time to have some rest and be away from rallying for a bit, and then it’s back to business.”

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: June 3, 2019

TÄNAK OVERCOMES AN UNFAVORABLE STARTING POSITION AND VARIOUS ISSUES TO SECURE HIS THIRD VICTORY OF THE SEASON AT RALLY DE PORTUGAL

Following two South American gravel rallies, the FIA World Rally Championship returned to Europe for the final rally of the first half of the season—Round 7: Rally de Portugal. The first European gravel event of the season, Rally de Portugal was formerly said to highlight a rally car’s true performance, because it included elements of various gravel rallies and because it possessed a good balance of stages. In addition, Rally de Portugal was also known for having some of the most typical surface conditions of any gravel rally; however, 2018 proved this assumption to be false. Parts of the road surface were in such poor condition that it would have been more accurate to describe them as “rough gravel.” Large stones were dug up from the ground, severely damaging the rally cars. The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team’s Yaris WRCs had been set up with the expectation of comparatively smooth surface conditions; Ott Tänak retired on Day Two after suffering damage from stones, while Jari-Matti Latvala was also forced to retire for the day. Esapekka Lappi was the team’s best performer, finishing in fourth place overall. It turned out to be an extremely difficult event for the team; however, as a result of this disappointment, the team learned to better anticipate changes in road surface conditions.

A new method of carrying spare tires optimizes weight distribution

This year marked the third appearance at the Rally de Portugal for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, and the team were determined to win. Before the rally, it had conducted tests in the south of Portugal and made improvements, focusing on the suspension; as a result, the Yaris WRC had evolved into a car that responded to driver input better than ever before. In addition, the team had also experimented at the tests with carrying spare tires in a new manner. Each spare tire is incredibly heavy, weighing approximately 25 kilograms. Previously, they were placed on their sides behind the seats, with care being taken to place them as low as possible in order to lower the car’s center of gravity. In the pre-event test, however, the team experimented with carrying the spare tires in an upright position. Although this raised the car’s center of gravity, the tire could be positioned closer to its center, and this helped to minimize the yaw moment of inertia. This followed the same logic as a mid-engine layout, where the heavy engine is placed as close to the center of a car as possible in order to increase driving performance.

However, in order to stand the spare tires upright, special stays were needed. For this reason, the team used the five-axis processing machine of DMG MORI, one of its partner companies, and machined these complex stays from aluminum in an extremely short time frame. The stay fitted the roll cage perfectly, and enabled the tires to be secured firmly. Following the tests, Tänak and Meeke chose to carry the spare tires in an upright position, while Latvala opted to use the same, side-on position as before. Increasing the variety of choices in this way enabled the weight distribution of the Yaris WRC to be better tailored to each driver.

Despite an unfavorable starting order, Tänak sets a series of fastest times to lead the rally

At the start of the rally, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team drivers continued to feel good about their cars. Tänak set the fastest times in two Special Stages at the beginning of Day One to lead the rally. As a result of his victory at the previous rally, Rally Chile, Tänak had risen to second in the drivers’ championship; this meant that he was second in the starting order in Portugal, and he was forced to negotiate slippery surfaces covered with loose gravel. Despite this disadvantage, however, Tänak recorded successive fastest times. In contrast to his championship rivals—who were first and third in the running order, and who both struggled on the loose gravel—Tänak sped through the opening stages, steadily extending his lead at the top of the rally standings.

“The car feels really good,” Tänak commented. “I am able to drive with confidence.” But it was not only Tänak who performed superbly. Although he was further down the running order, Latvala also set strong times and finished Day One in second place overall, 17.3 seconds behind his teammate. Kris Meeke, too, was third, just 5.5 seconds behind Latvala, as the Yaris WRCs secured a clean sweep of the top positions. The results reflected the drivers’ confidence in their cars.

Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen’s advice helps overcome brake issues

On Day Two of Rally de Portugal, the team faced several unexpected issues. On SS8, the opening stage of the day, Tänak damaged the brake lines on his Yaris WRC; this resulted in reduced braking force and he lost time as a consequence. After the stage, Tänak communicated with the team over the radio and attempted to repair the problem himself. While he succeeded in repairing the damage to the brake lines, he was unable to extract all the air that had entered the lines. For this reason, even when he stepped on the brake pedal, the brakes did not provide full braking force or feel. Yet Tänak was forced to drive the next stage in this condition.

Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen heard Tänak commenting over the radio that he was unhappy with his braking; Mäkinen drew on his long experience as a driver to provide advice to Tänak via his engineer: “If you step on the brake pedal multiple times, the air will be pushed into the brake lines, and you should be able to feel brake feedback from the pedal.” Tänak followed Mäkinen’s advice and stepped on the brake pedal multiple times with his left foot, while continuing to drive at full speed. As he did so, the braking force returned, and he was able to record the second fastest time on the stage. Having overcome his predicament, Tänak managed to hold on to the rally lead.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: April 28, 2019

TOYOTA YARIS WRC CLIMBS THE LEADERBOARD IN THE ARGENTINE MOUNTAINS

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team showed strong performance on the final day of a demanding Rally Argentina, but just missed out on the podium places despite a spirited fightback from Kris Meeke, who finished fourth. All three of the team’s drivers gained places on the final day, with Jari-Matti Latvala and Ott Tänak also making up positions to finish fifth and eighth respectively.

The final day took place in the spectacular Traslasierra mountains, over the famous El Cóndor and Mina Clavero - Giulio Cesare stages: the former running twice, including as the rally-ending Power Stage. Late on Saturday night, both Meeke and Tänak had received 10-second penalties following confusion around a gate on SS11. For Meeke, this demoted him from third overall to fifth at the start of the final day. However, he responded impressively by winning the day’s opening stage, moving him up to fourth and within half a second of third: a position he then claimed on the day’s second test. Unfortunately, he would narrowly lose out on a podium on the final stage by just 1.4 seconds.

Latvala started the day in sixth position, but a strong run through the second stage of the day brought him up to fifth place. He secured the position for good with a great run on the Power Stage, where he was just 0.1 seconds off the fastest time. After having to retire from second place on Saturday, Tänak restarted and claimed eighth place overall on the final stage of the rally. He also scored one additional point from the Power Stage despite having to run first on the road among the World Rally Cars. Tänak remains third in the drivers’ standings, with Meeke fourth and Latvala seventh, while Toyota is up to second place in the manufacturers’ championship.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Things were looking quite good today. Kris was really fast this morning, but unfortunately he just missed out on the podium in the final stage. Jari-Matti had a brilliant final day. Maybe he was just a little too wild at the end of the Power Stage and sliding a bit too much and that’s why he didn’t get the five points, but it was a very, very good performance from him today. There wasn’t much that Ott could do today running first on the road, as it’s dried up so much from earlier in the week. Now we are focusing on preparing for the next event in Chile, where we hope to get back on the podium.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It was pretty demanding for us today. We were early on the road so we really struggled to set any good times. The positive was that we just managed to catch and take eighth place. It’s been a very frustrating weekend with the issues we had. We had good performance but no big result, so there is a lot to improve. We will keep doing our best, so let’s see in Chile how we can fight back.“

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: March 31, 2019

TOYOTA YARIS WRC FIRST AND SECOND ON THE CALVI POWER STAGE

The strong performance of the Toyota Yaris WRC on the Tour de Corse concluded with a one-two finish on the rally-ending Power Stage for Kris Meeke and Ott Tänak. All three of the team’s cars finished inside of the top 10 at the end of an event that promised much more, but for some time-consuming stoppages.

The final day consisted of two stages to the north-west of the island of Corsica. After concentrating on preserving his tyres during the first stage, Meeke set the fastest time on the Power Stage into Calvi. Claiming his third stage win of the event, Meeke was 4.5 seconds faster than team-mate Tänak.

Tänak had led the rally before he had to stop and change a tyre on Saturday afternoon. As a result, he finished sixth overall, but his four bonus points from the Power Stage mean he is only five points away from the lead of the drivers’ championship. Having both lost significant time with incidents earlier in the rally, Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala finished in ninth and 10th overall respectively. Latvala was sixth in the Power Stage, missing out on an extra point by just 0.3s.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“The Power Stage was our main target for today and both Kris and Ott did a good job to get the top points. It also shows just how fast our car is on asphalt: This is the big positive to take away from this weekend. Now we must investigate the problems that we had during the rally, because it could have been a very good result for us and we need to learn from it. Still, the championships are very close and we will take confidence to the next rallies in Argentina and Chile.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Generally, it has been a good event for us: We had a strong performance and I actually quite enjoyed this year’s Tour de Corse. Of course, the final result is disappointing, but this was a rally I didn't enjoy at all a couple of years ago, and we are now right on the pace and driving with a good rhythm, so there is something for us to smile about. Today was just about collecting some points from the Power Stage, and we had a clean run with no risks. The fight continues.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“We were close to scoring one or two points on the Power Stage, which I would have been happy with because I didn’t have the confidence in myself to take any risks. I have been missing some speed all weekend, so it was important to just bring the car to the finish. I know that I have some things to think about to improve on asphalt, but that is for the future. For now I will put this event behind us, and try to go to the next events in South America with some new energy.”

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: March 10, 2019

TÄNAK AND TOYOTA GAZOO Racing FINISH A STRONG SECOND IN MEXICO

Ott Tänak has claimed a superb second place finish on Rally Mexico following an impressive final day, maintaining his lead in the FIA World Rally Championship drivers’ standings. All three Toyota Yaris WRCs finished the gruelling gravel event inside the top eight, helping TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team to add to its manufacturers’ championship advantage.

Having coped well with running first on the road on Friday as championship leader for the first time in his WRC career, Tänak climbed up into the podium positions on Saturday and came into Sunday just 2.2 seconds away from second place. He claimed that position with a stage win in the first of the day’s three stages, and took another in the next test to further extend his advantage. A puncture denied him the chance to claim bonus points in the Power Stage, but he held onto second place.

Kris Meeke showed a strong performance in his first gravel event behind the wheel of the Yaris WRC, even claiming the lead briefly on Saturday morning before he suffered a puncture that dropped him down the order. Sitting in a comfortable fifth position overnight, he saved his tyres for the Power Stage, where he was second fastest to claim four bonus points, missing the best time by only one tenth of a second.

After restarting the event on Saturday following an electrical fault, Jari-Matti Latvala moved up to seventh place overall on the penultimate stage. He and co-driver Miikka Anttila had to make last-minute repairs before the final stage, but made it to the finish in eighth.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It has been a very difficult rally for the drivers, for the engineers and for the mechanics, but we have improved a lot here compared to the previous two years. There were no issues with the cooling packages and the performance has been strong. Ott did very well running first on the road for the first time with no complaints and I think he got the maximum from the situation. Kris and Jari-Matti were unfortunate but they kept fighting and scored some good points, helping us in the championship.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It has been a good weekend. This has been a very demanding event: tough for the car, tough for the tyres and tough for the drivers inside the car. I believe we managed it well and I’m really happy to make it through without mistakes or problems. It really shows how strong we are. I had a puncture on the Power Stage, so there was nothing I could do there, but the first two stages were good and we managed to get the second place. It’s been a good start to the championship with three podiums from three rallies, and it would be great if we can carry on like this.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I don’t think I’ve ever fought so hard to get four points! At the end of the second stage of the day, we hit some bedrock with the sump guard. We thought we had no chance to continue but I said we can’t give up at this point. The sump guard was only half-fixed so I couldn’t drive fast in the Power Stage, and we were late into the time control so we lost seventh place by four seconds. But at least we made it to the end. There have been a lot of things happening this weekend, hopefully the next rally will be a bit calmer!”

Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“We were in a secure fifth place in the overall standings, so we had to balance protecting that with a push in the Power Stage. I saved my tyres through the first two stages, which I think was the right strategy. I then gave it everything in the Power Stage, while still making sure to bring home the fifth place. It’s been a tough rally for me after the puncture while we were leading, but to come away with 14 points is still positive. For the team and for the manufacturers’ championship it’s been a really strong rally.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY MEXICO
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) 3h37m08.0s
2 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +30.2s
3 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +49.9s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m27.0s
5 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6m06.2s
6 Benito Guerra/Jaime Zapata (Skoda Fabia R5) +15m35.5s
7 Marco Bulacia Wilkinson/Fabian Cretu (Skoda Fabia R5) +18m51.5s
8 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +18m55.9s
9 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +22m44.1s
10 Ricardo Trivino/Marc Marti (Skoda Fabia R5) +30m13.8s
(Results as of 13:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What's next?
The Tour de Corse on March 28-31 is the first true asphalt rally of the season, taking place on twisting and twisting roads on the French island of Corsica. With long, mountainous stages lined by rock faces on one side and steep drops on the other, as well as numerous surface changes, there is plenty to catch drivers out.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Feb 17. 2019

TÄNAK AND THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC TRIUMPH IN SWEDEN

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is celebrating its first win of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season after Ott Tänak clinched a dominant victory on round two, Rally Sweden. It is the second win in three years for the Toyota Yaris WRC on the event, the scene of its maiden triumph in 2017. Tänak also won the rally-ending Power Stage to claim maximum points.

Podium Ceremony

The drivers faced difficult conditions throughout the weekend as warm temperatures caused the ice and snow to melt. Tänak ended Friday within two seconds of the rally lead and then capitalised on his better road position on Saturday to open up an advantage of nearly a minute over the competition. On Sunday, he took care through the opening two stages and was then fastest on the Power Stage by 3.5 seconds to claim the five available bonus points. Co-driven by Martin Järveoja, Tänak now leads the drivers’ championship standings for the first time in his career.

Kris Meeke clinched sixth position overall in his second rally with the team after increasing his margin over his closest rival during the final day. His points have helped the team to claim a one-point lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Jari-Matti Latvala, competing under restart rules following his off on Friday, claimed a stage win in the day’s opening test. Marcus Grönholm also completed his comeback rally in a privately-entered Yaris WRC.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman)
“We achieved our first victory of the season at the second round of the WRC: Rally Sweden. I would like to congratulate and appreciate Ott, Martin and the team for bringing this result. I also would like to appreciate all the fans and our partners for their support. Thank you very much. It was beyond my imagination when the team won here two years ago at the just second rally of our comeback. I still remember clearly the surprise and joy at that time. This year’s victory is different; we could fight for the victory from the beginning. Reviewing this year’s rally comparing to the joyful one two years ago and a very tough one last year, I can see how the team has grown. I thank Tommi for continuing to lead the team. I saw Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm with unfamiliar drivers’ suits on the podium. Of course, I felt sorry that Jari-Matti, Miikka, Kris and Seb missed the podium. But at the same time, I felt a bit glad that they were there. It is not only because I see their smiles, but also because I felt that we were facing strong rivals. I believe Tommi and all the team members strongly feel as I do that all the drivers and co-drivers are on the podium. And this gives big power to TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to move forward. The season has just started. In the rest of the season, over 12 rounds, we will have tight battles with our strong rivals. This will make WRC more exciting and will help us make ever-better cars. Thank you in advance for your continuous support.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It is brilliant to get a win here in the second round of the season and to be leading both championships. Ott has dominated the whole weekend, showing everyone how to drive in the difficult conditions. He is really strong at the moment. When I look at him right now, I see myself over 20 years ago when I was focusing on winning the title. Of course, it has been a more difficult weekend for Kris and for Jari-Matti, but they too have shown the speed of our car, and it is reliable too.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“We have had a very good weekend. Friday was a key moment where we had to get through to minimise the time loss in the conditions, but after this we just drove with a good rhythm and as little risk as possible. Today it was about saving the tyres for the Power Stage and to give it a big push. We had a very good run and everything was working really well, so I was really comfortable in the car. We have a very strong team and it’s great for us to have this kind of result at the beginning of the season.”

 

PRESS RELEASE: Jan 27, 2019

TÄNAK CHARGES BACK TO CLIMB ONTO THE PODIUM IN MONTE CARLO

Ott Tänak has delivered a podium for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team on the opening round of the 2019 season, with a superb fightback on Rallye Monte-Carlo. Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke also finished inside the top six, with Meeke additionally winning the Power Stage to complete a very encouraging first competitive outing in the Toyota Yaris WRC.

Car 8 (Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja)

Tänak had begun the event in fine form, leading after Thursday night’s opening stages, but ended Friday down in seventh overall after stopping to change a wheel. He then won all four stages on Saturday and the opening two tests on Sunday morning to make up a deficit of more than a minute to third position.

Latvala was also in the fight for a podium place and eventually finished fifth, only 1.7 seconds from fourth. Meeke was sixth after losing several minutes changing flat tyres earlier in the weekend, but he quickly gelled with his new car in his first WRC start for more than eight months. He came second to Tänak on four stages and then won the finale, claiming the maximum five bonus points.

Quotes:
Shigeki Tomoyama (President, GAZOO Racing Company)
“Last season, we won the manufacturers’ title in our second year, but we also experienced many difficulties and retirements. To start this season, the entire team worked together and continued to ’Kaizen’ ourselves to bring our speed and consistency to a new level for the opening round. Stronger and faster rivals made this year’s Rallye Monte-Carlo very tough, in addition to the fast-changing road conditions experienced every year. Even under these difficult conditions, all three of our crews fought really well and were able to make the rally super exciting. Ott and Martin especially have shown superior fighting ability, just as they did last year. Even though they lost significant time due to the puncture, they won seven stages and claimed third place on the podium. Jari-Matti and Miikka drove calmly through the event and finished in fifth. Kris and Seb showed incredible speed in the Power Stage, while truly enjoying their first ride in the Yaris WRC. Their brilliant drives have showed us that we can expect wonderful results this season. From the balanced performance of the Yaris WRC and the supreme teamwork, I felt our team pushing towards winning this year’s titles. We would like to ask for your continuous support for our TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team this season.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It was a great finish to the rally for us and a very positive result. We have scored some good points for the championship. We were fastest on nine out of the 15 stages here, which proves the strong performance of our car. Kris’s performance has been especially impressive in his first rally with us. I think he has sent a warning to everybody else for the rest of the season and everybody will be keeping their eyes on him.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“I am very pleased with this podium. After Friday I didn’t have such high hopes. I’m surprised we could catch all this time back on asphalt in relatively dry conditions. We had a good run this morning and then we just had to maintain our position to the finish. I’m really happy with the team, with my gravel crew and with the car. We did a perfect job on Saturday and Sunday and we should all feel proud of ourselves.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“It was a close fight for the whole weekend, but I wasn’t at my best, I must say. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t take fourth place today. But I realise now that I made a mistake in our test and I developed the wrong sort of setup for the rally. Because of that, my car was understeering too much for my driving style, and the confidence wasn’t there to go faster. But we had a clean weekend with no errors and we have scored some good points, which is important to start the season. We know that the car is capable of winning.”

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Jan 12, 2019

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WORLD RALLY TEAM LAUNCHES 2019 CHALLENGE

The 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season has been launched today in front of thousands of motorsport fans at the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is in attendance with its manufacturers’ championship-winning Yaris WRC car and its full squad of drivers and co-drivers.

Joining the team for this year is the British crew of Kris Meeke and his new co-driver Seb Marshall, and the Autosport International show – a popular annual curtain-raiser to the motorsport season – represents their first official appearance on home ground with the team.

The pair join Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila, who last year helped Toyota to claim the manufacturers’ title in just the second season of its return to the WRC.

Key to that success were developments made to improve the Yaris WRC throughout the season based upon the lessons gained from previous rallies. These developments have been carried through to the beginning of the 2019 season, which gets underway with Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 24-27.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It’s brilliant to return to the show for the launch of the 2019 season as the reigning manufacturers’ champions. We know that a lot of fans in the UK in particular have been very excited about Kris and Seb joining our team, so this is quite a fitting place for us to start the year. What we were able to achieve last season was incredible, thanks to the hard work of the whole team to constantly improve the Yaris WRC. We start this year with the same successful package, but we keep on working to make a better car. Now we want to defend our manufacturers’ title while also winning the drivers’ championship. It will not be easy because we will face even stronger competition, but everybody is confident of a good season.”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is inspired by the motto: “ALL FOR THE WIN” as it competes throughout the 2019 season. Our goal in 2019 is to fight for all three crowns. All team members are aiming for this big goal together. We look forward to your continuous support!

 

PRESS RELEASE: Nov 26, 2018

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WINS RALLY AND WRC TITLE IN AUSTRALIA

After beginning its World Rally Team project three-and-a-half years ago, Toyota Gazoo Racing is delighted to have claimed the outright win of Rally Australia, the final round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship, as well as the prestigious manufacturers’ title.

This achievement marks the fourth occasion that Toyota has won the WRC manufacturers’ title and its first such win since 1999.The season-ending event concluded in style with victory for Jari-Matti Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila. Esapekka Lappi finished in fourth, while Ott Tänak was bitterly disappointed to crash out on the final day.

Latvala avoided mistakes and took three stage wins to clinch victory by 32.5 seconds – the team’s fifth win of 2018. Lappi also won a stage to complete a strong drive in his final event before departing the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.

Tänak, Latvala and Lappi finished the season third, fourth and fifth respectively in the driver’s standings, with Tänak fighting for the drivers’ title until the final day in Australia, and all three contributing towards the manufacturers’ title.

Akio Toyoda (team chairman): “Congratulations to Jari-Matti and Miikka for the Rally Australia win! I was very glad to see them on the top of the podium at the end of the year after what has sometimes been a tricky season. And with this victory, we could win the manufacturers’ title. I feel so grateful that we could get such a great result in the second year of our challenge after returning to the WRC following 18 years away.

“I am so grateful to Tommi, who has kept strengthening the Yaris WRC to win this title, all the team members who supported Tommi, and the six drivers and co-drivers who kept driving the Yaris towards our goal. Thank you very much, and huge congratulations!”

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Oct 28, 2018

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing COMPLETES A ROLLERCOASTER RALLY IN SPAIN

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team leads the manufacturers’ championship standings heading to the final round of the season following the conclusion of an eventful Rally de España. Ott Tänak also retains a chance in the drivers’ title race after scoring maximum points in the Power Stage and finishing sixth overall, just in front of team-mates Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala.

Car 8(Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja)

The Toyota Yaris WRC again proved its strong performance throughout the demanding rally, which featured a mix of surfaces with both gravel and asphalt, as well as a wide range of weather conditions. Tänak led the rally until a puncture on Saturday morning relegated him down the order. On the final day he was able to move up to sixth overall and post the best time on the Power Stage, earning five bonus points to leave him within 23 points of the drivers’ championship lead with 30 points still available.

Latvala produced a stunning fight-back from a puncture on Friday to lead on Saturday night at the head of an extremely close six-way battle. He was lying second and still firmly in the fight for the victory when he touched an armco barrier on the penultimate stage, leading to wheel damage and a flat tyre. After having to take a safety-first approach to the final stage, he finished up eighth overall. This gave seventh to Lappi, who recovered from a difficult Friday to display strong speed on Saturday. On Sunday, Lappi succeeded in his aim to finish the rally and, together with Tänak, clinch crucial points for the manufacturers’ championship: the team has a 12-point lead as it bids to claim the crown in just the second season of Toyota’s rallying return.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It has been an incredible weekend with a lot of highs and lows and an amazing battle from start to finish. It could have turned out so much better for us. Still, all three drivers got to the end of the rally, scored the points for the manufacturers’ championship and Ott did a great job on the Power Stage to keep the drivers’ title alive. We still feel really confident going to Australia: we have fast drivers and a fast, reliable car.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“We were too soft with the tyres and with the setup this morning, but the second stage was a lot better and the fight for the win was still on. The car felt really good and everything was going well. Unfortunately, in one corner I turned too quickly and I touched a pillar that was supporting the barrier. It damaged the tyre immediately so we had to drive half the stage with a punctured tyre. I am really sorry for my mistake, but this can happen when you are fighting for every tenth of a second. The result was not what we wanted but I am very happy with the performance this weekend, and I am really looking forward to Australia.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Today the driving was very enjoyable. After the tricky conditions yesterday, these were really the typical Catalunya asphalt roads which we had been looking forward to. In the Power Stage I had more or less nothing to lose. OK, we still needed to finish but I pushed very hard as it was my only chance to stay mathematically in the championship fight. I did all I could and we will not give up. We also still have a strong position in the manufacturers’ championship.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“It has been a tough weekend, but it is nice to finish this rally for the first time, which is important, and I think I learned a lot during the weekend. Today I didn’t have much to fight for in the overall standings: I just needed to bring the car to the finish and secure the points for the manufacturers’ championship, and in this sense everything went well.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY DE ESPAÑA:
1 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroen C3 WRC) 3h12m08.0s
2 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2.9s
3 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +16.5s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +17.0s
5 Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +18.6s
6 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m03.9s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m16.6s
8 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m26.4s
9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2m07.0s
10 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2m48.2s
(Results as of 15:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What’s next?
The final round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship will be Rally Australia on November 15-18. It’s held on varied gravel roads, with a combination of tight and twisty forest tracks and fast and flowing sections across open countryside. Trees line the side of the roads in many places, ready to catch out the unwary, while hanging dust can also be an added challenge.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: Oct 7, 2018

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing INCREASES ITS LEAD WITH ANOTHER DOUBLE PODIUM IN RALLY GB

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has increased its advantage at the top of the manufacturers’ championship standings after a double podium finish on Wales Rally GB: the fourth event in a row where two of the Toyota Yaris WRCs have finished inside the top three. Jari-Matti Latvala engaged in a thrilling final-day fight for the rally win, ultimately finishing in second place with Esapekka Lappi in third.

Car 7(Jari-Matti Latvala, Miikka Anttila)

The last day of the rally consisted of five stages: three in the forests of North Wales and two passes over an all-asphalt stage finishing in Llandudno. Beginning the day 4.4 seconds away from the lead, Latvala made an excellent start to the morning, with a stage win on SS20 moving him into first position. He continued to fight until the end and finished up just 10.6s shy of victory, as he took his third podium finish from the last four events.

Lappi began the day with a margin of just 1.7s over the driver in fourth place, but immediately increased his advantage by winning SS19. He ended the rally more than half a minute clear as he made his third podium visit in the space of five rounds. With the results for Latvala and Lappi, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team extends its manufacturers’ championship lead to 20 points.

After being forced to retire on Saturday afternoon, Ott Tänak restarted on Sunday and claimed four points with second place to Latvala in the Power Stage on SS20. It means the Estonian driver is within 21 points of the drivers’ championship lead with two rounds still to go.

Quotes:
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We saw a brilliant fight today from Jari-Matti. He tried all that he could, but it seems Ogier was just a bit too strong this time. It is nice to see two of our crews on the podium again, and this result means it is looking good for us in the manufacturers’ championship. Obviously we are still disappointed by what happened to Ott on Saturday. It makes his drivers’ title bid more difficult, but there are still a lot of points available and he is clearly the strongest driver right now, so it could all still turn around. I believe nothing will be decided until Australia.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“It was a great battle today, I really enjoyed the fight. The first two stages were great for me, but it went away in the final loop. It was maybe down to the tyre choice: I had one used soft tyre and on the gravel it wasn’t biting that well. This is a very important result for the team for the manufacturers’ championship, and also for myself: to get these consecutive podiums is very nice.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Today we just did our job, which was to get some points from the Power Stage and then to get to the finish. That is all we could really do today. We are still in the championship fight but the situation is tougher for us now. It will not be easy but we will keep trying until the end.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“I am pretty pleased with this result. These are important points, especially for the team. In the morning loop the performance was really strong: We defended our third place and we managed to do a fastest time, which is always nice. We got a big gap and after that it was just about bringing the car safely to the finish, which we did.”

FINAL CLASSIFICATION, WALES RALLY GB
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3h06m12.5s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +10.6s
3 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.1s
4 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m10.4s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m14.4s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m15.9s
7 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m18.4s
8 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m21.6s
9 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +9m14.7s
10 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +10m48.9s
19 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +20m38.9s

What’s next?
Rally de España (October 25-28) is the only WRC round run on both gravel and asphalt. After one day on gravel, teams are required to transfer the cars from gravel to asphalt specification within a 75-minute service. The asphalt stages that follow are smooth, fast and flowing, similar to racing circuits in their characteristics.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: September 16, 2018

ONE-TWO FOR TOYOTA GAZOO Racing AND A HAT-TRICK FOR TÄNAK

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has finished first and second on a gruelling Rally Turkey with drivers Ott Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala. It is the first such result for the team since its return to the FIA World Rally Championship at the start of 2017, and moves the squad to the top of the manufacturers’ standings. It is the third win in a row for Tänak and the Toyota Yaris WRC: the first time any driver or team has achieved such a streak since the latest era of World Rally Cars was introduced last season.

On the WRC calendar for the first time since 2010, Rally Turkey provided a considerable test to all the teams and crews, with entirely new stages over rough and rocky gravel roads that were extremely demanding for the cars and tyres. In a rally of attrition, where only five World Rally Cars completed the event without having to retire from at least one of the three legs, the approach of the Toyota team and its drivers to focus on reliability and avoiding mistakes paid dividends.

Tänak and Latvala occupied fifth and fourth positions at the end of Friday and through measured driving took over at the top of the leaderboard at the beginning of Saturday afternoon as their rivals hit problems. From there, the two drivers continued to avoid problems over the remaining stages, with Tänak winning by 22.3 seconds over Latvala with almost one minute and a half further back to the third-placed crew.

Esapekka Lappi was unable to take part in Sunday’s stages after his car was too heavily damaged when he went off the road on Saturday morning. This however did not prevent Toyota claiming a maximum points haul of 43 points towards the manufacturers’ championship, which it now leads by five points with three rounds remaining. Tänak, who also took three bonus points for third place on the rally-ending Power Stage, has climbed to second in the drivers’ standings, just 13 away from the lead. Latvala, fourth on the Power Stage, moves up to fifth behind Lappi.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team President)
“Following Finland and Germany, we, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT, have achieved excellent results for the third consecutive rally. I really appreciate the fans who are supporting us from all over the world. Rally Turkey was very tough, beyond our imaginations, for all the components of the car including the chassis, engine and tyres, because of its severe roads with big rocks and high temperatures. To have run through such roads and reached the finish with these great results, I appreciate the drivers, the co-drivers and all the team members. Thank you all and congratulations! During the rally, the Yaris WRCs did not run perfectly all the time. There were minor issues for every car and each crew had to drive carefully. Driving carefully back to the service park, improving the car together with engineers and mechanics during service, and going back to the stages... this is how we reached the podium. When he finished Saturday in second overall, Latvala said that on Sunday he would drive for the team and his team-mate. I am really glad to see the result of such teamwork. And I am proud of not only the winning crew, Tänak and Järveoja, but also all my team-mates who gave their full efforts to make this happen. In this team, Toyota Motor Corporation works to make cars which drivers can drive more easily. Together with our amazing team-mates we will continue making “ever-better” cars in order to share more joy in the future. Thank all the fans in advance for your continuous support of the team.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This has been another absolutely brilliant weekend for us. Thank you to Ott and to Jari-Matti: they concentrated really hard and didn’t make any mistakes. It was a new rally for everybody, with some very technical stages, and we saw that it was easy to make mistakes. It was a big challenge as well for the cars but we managed it well and this is the result. The team has done a fantastic job with the cooling package and everything else, and now our car seems to be very reliable. It is great to now be leading the manufacturers’ championship and we will keep working hard until the end of the season.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“This is a great result for the team. The main thing today was to get the one-two finish and we did it. Everything went according to plan. I tried to be clever and not do anything stupid and I had a consistent run. We are trying hard to win the manufacturers’ championship so these points were very valuable, and the remainder of the season now looks very exciting. For me, it is very nice to be on the podium again. Things have started to look better since Finland. Now let’s keep it going this way.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“This rally was so difficult. From the beginning, we knew that it will not be the fastest driver that will win this rally but that it would be the smartest. We were the most consistent and we managed to do the whole rally without any issues or having to stop on any of the stages. Obviously it has been a great team effort and they have been able to build a very strong car. The championship is now wide open so let’s keep pushing.”

FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY TURKEY
1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h59m24.5s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +22.3s
3 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m46.3s
4 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m10.9s
5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +7m11.7s
6 Henning Solberg/Ilka Minor (Skoda Fabia R5) +13m40.6s
7 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +18m25.2s
8 Simone Tempestini/Sergiu Itu (Citroen C3 R5) +19m37.1s
9 Chris Ingram/Ross Whittock (Skoda Fabia R5) +20m21.3s
10 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +20m51.2s
Retired Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC)

What’s next?
Round 11 of the 2018 season is Rally GB on October 4-7. In dry conditions these stages can be driven at fairly high speeds, but in the Welsh autumn the pace is usually tempered by mud, which can make the surfaces treacherously