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TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WORLD RALLY TEAM

PIAA is an official Partner of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT


2018 WRC Calendar - See www.wrc.com
1 Rallye Monte-Carlo 25 - 28 Jan 187
2 Rally Sweden 15 - 18 Feb 18
3 Rally Mexico 08 - 11 Mar 18
4 Tour de Corse 05 - 08 Apr 18
5 Rally Argentina 26 - 29 Apr 18
5. Rally Portugal 17 - 20 May 18
6. Rally Italia Sardinia 07 - 10 Jun 18
8 Rally Finland 26 - 29 Jul 17
9 Rally Deutschland 16 - 19 Aug 17
10 Rally Turkey 13 - 16 Sep 18
11 Wales Rally GB 04 - 07 Oct 18
12 Rally de España - Catalunya 25 - 28 Oct 18
13 Rally Australia 15 - 18 Nov 18

 

PRESS RELEASE: 28 January 2018

DOUBLE PODIUM FOR THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC IN MONTE CARLO

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has begun the 2018 season with a superb team performance on Rallye Monte-Carlo. Two of the Toyota Yaris WRCs finished the famous event on the podium, with Ott Tänak second and Jari-Matti Latvala third.

Tänak impressed throughout his debut rally with TOYOTA, quickly adapting to the Yaris WRC to set four fastest times as he challenged for the victory in typically demanding conditions. He took a careful approach through the four stages that made up the final day as he secured second overall: a fantastic start to his time with the team. Latvala also played it safe to complete a double podium for the squad. Esapekka Lappi ended up seventh (less than 15 seconds away from fourth) after a small mistake on the final stage, but can still look back at a strong performance in his first Rallye Monte-Carlo driving a World Rally Car.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman)
“Having developed the Yaris WRC on different roads all over the world last year, all of us at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team made it even better during the short off-season and put an improved Yaris on the start ramp for Rallye Monte-Carlo. Although I couldn’t be there, my heart was with the team and I saw many messages on our social networks from fans not only in Japan but all over the world. I would also like to thank Tommi and the other team members, as well as our six drivers and co-drivers who finished the rally reliably despite such challenging asphalt conditions with rain, snow, ice and mud. Toyota is a big family united by the same goal of making ever-better cars. Juho Hänninen and Kaj Lindström, who were competing in the number 11 Yaris WRC last year, continue in vital roles: Juho as part of the safety crew and Kaj as sporting director. As the new season goes on we will face even bigger challenges: extreme cold, high altitude, intense heat and increasingly stronger rivals. But together with our colleagues and fans, we are focussed on making an ever-better Yaris thanks to the valuable lessons learned from the world’s most demanding stages. Thank you for your continuing support: we appreciate it so much.”

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This has been a really brilliant way to start the season. I believe this is the strongest our team has been since we started. I’m very happy to see the effort put in by the whole team. I am also very impressed by the way that Ott has fitted into the team so quickly, how professional he is and how soon he has learned everything. It would be great to continue like this. We are looking forward to Sweden.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is never easy. We had difficult conditions once again today, particularly with the ice on the Col du Turini that came since the recce. I’m really relieved to get to the finish and to be on the podium. The team has done an excellent job and the car is performing really well so I’m excited for the season ahead. It’s going to be about staying cool and to think about the championship and about the points. This has been a good start.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“It’s really nice to start the season like this. It looks like I have joined a very strong team! The car has been amazing and I’ve felt really comfortable in it since the start of the rally. It was an extremely tough rally with such difficult conditions, but we managed to get through without any serious problems. We were expecting easier conditions today, but it was still really icy. We were able to take it steady because we were in a strong position. I’m now really looking forward to the coming rallies.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“Today started really well with some good speed and the plan was to keep up the rhythm, including on the Power Stage. Unfortunately, I went wide on one corner and then I couldn’t get reverse, so we lost a lot of time and three positions. At the moment I am quite disappointed but at least I completed every kilometre, gaining experience and learning many things, so there are also a lot of positives. It has been a good rally for the team and Sweden should suit me better.”

FINAL RESULT, RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 4h18m55.5s
2 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +58.3s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m52.0s

4 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +4m43.1s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4m53.8s
6 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m54.8s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4m57.5s
8 Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) +7m39.5s
9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +9m06.7s
10 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +16m43.0s
What's next?
Round two of the FIA World Rally Championship is the only event held exclusively on snow and ice: Rally Sweden (February 15-18). This was the scene of the maiden victory for the Toyota Yaris WRC in 2017. Metal studs inserted into the tyres punch through the ice to find grip, while drivers use the snow banks to stay on the road by ‘leaning’ through the corners.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 19 January, 2018

YARIS WRC’S SECOND SEASON BEGINS WITH MIGHTY MONTE CHALLENGE

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will embark on its second season in the FIA World Rally Championship season at Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 25-28), with a strong driver line-up and an improved Toyota Yaris WRC. Ott Tänak, a two-time winner last year, will make his TOYOTA GAZOO Racing debut alongside Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi, who drove the Yaris WRC to victories during its development season in 2017. All three aim to follow in the footsteps of their Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen, a four-time winner of both the WRC title and of Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Rallye Monte-Carlo is the oldest rally in the world and also one of the most famous. It is known for its changeable weather conditions, which can vary from dry asphalt to snow and ice, sometimes in the same stage. This means tyre choices can make a big difference, as can the ice-note crews who provide the teams with last-minute information on the stage conditions.

The rally begins in the glamorous surrounds of Casino Square in Monte Carlo prior to the opening two stages held in the dark on Thursday night: a demanding start to the new season. Friday is the longest day of the rally with more than 150 kilometres of action, spread over three stages that are all run twice either side of service in Gap. After five more stages on Saturday, the rally returns to Monaco before four final tests on Sunday, including two passes of the iconic Col de Turini.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This time last year, we didn’t really know where we were as we prepared for the debut of the Toyota Yaris WRC. In the coming season, I believe that we can be a lot more consistent, which is really what we need in order to fight for the championship titles. That is our aim after our learning season last year. The break since Rally Australia finished has not been very long but we have been very busy trying to make our car even better. Rallye Monte-Carlo is always a tough event to start the season with. Although I won it four times during my career as a driver, I didn’t prepare for it very well back then: I would not even think about rallying, and just go skiing instead! Our three drivers have been doing much better preparation, with a lot of testing, and we hope for a good result.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“We learned a lot last year during our first season together. We discovered where we needed to improve, and we are now ready for the second year and I think we should be very competitive. We have a very good driver line-up: all of us managed to win in 2017 and when everybody is aiming for victories it is usually good for the team. We already achieved a good result on Rallye Monte-Carlo on the debut for the Yaris WRC last year, finishing in second place, which equalled my best result there. Then, it was important to have a clean rally and the same will be true this year, but we also want to have good speed.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“There is a lot of excitement ahead of my first rally for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. The team did a really good job last year: even though it was their first season they were already very competitive. I could see how much potential there is and I wanted to make sure I was part of this team in the coming years. Our target is the same: to win the championship. I am just getting used to the team but already I feel very welcome and the preparation has been going really well. In Monte Carlo we will see how we are compared to the competition. For sure, it is one of the most challenging events on the calendar. You don’t know what to expect: whether it will be snow or ice, wet or dry.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“This will be my first full season in a World Rally Car and the approach needs to be a bit different to before: I need to be a bit more consistent. I still need to gain some more experience: during the first part of the season there are rallies I do not know so well, and Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of those. It is an event where experience can really help, so my aim has to be to do all the stages. Later in the season there are the rallies where I have confidence and where I should be most competitive. The preparation is good: we have just been trying to improve the car and ourselves.”