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    Rally Sweden – Final – The Yaris WRC finishes with a flourish in Sweden

    February 19, 2018
    A challenging Rally Sweden ended on a high note for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team with three stage wins out of three on the final day. This included victory in the Power Stage for Esapekka Lappi, who also gained two places in the overall classification to finish fourth. An unfavourable position in the running order had prevented the team from showing the true performance of the Toyota Yaris WRC for the entire duration of the rally, but a total of eight stage wins showed the potential of the package. In his second rally with the team, Ott Tänak achieved six of these fastest times, including on the first stage of the final day. There, Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala gave Toyota its second one-two-three stage result of the rally, with Lappi gaining a place overall to move up to fifth. He then won the second pass of the Likenäs stage before triumphing in the Torsby Power Stage, enough to gain fourth by 8.6 seconds. Latvala completed the rally in seventh place with Tänak ninth. The Estonian driver also scored the final Power Stage point in fifth. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “It has been a very hard weekend for me. We just lost so much time on the first day with our high starting position in the fresh snow and the heavy ruts. We changed the transmission for the final day and this improved the feeling compared to yesterday. The team did a very good job and the car was handling very well. It is both quick and reliable and that is important.” PROVISIONAL FINAL RESULT, RALLY SWEDEN 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h52.13.1s 2 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +19.8s 3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +28.3s 4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +45.8s 5 Hayden Paddon/Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +54.4s 6 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m15.3s 7 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m04.9s 8 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m52.2s 9 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m44.4s 10 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5m27.4s (Results as of 15:30 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Rally Mexico (March 8-11) is the first gravel event of the season, known in particular for ambient temperatures in the region of 30°C and a route that peaks at 2,737m above sea level, starving engines of air and cutting power by as much as 20 per cent.

    Rally Sweden – Day 2 – The Yaris WRC shows its potential on Swedish snow

    February 19, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team showed a strong level of performance when conditions allowed during the second full day of Rally Sweden. In the morning loop, Ott Tänak won the first two stages and came a close second on the third. Although he later lost time in an incident with another car, he went on to score a fifth stage win of the event in the evening. Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi ensured all three Toyota Yaris WRCs were in the top four on the opening Torntop test, and then completed a sweep of the top three places on the following Hagfors stage, emphasising the potential of the car. In the afternoon however, as had been the case yesterday, the team’s efforts were compromised by its position near the front of the running order. With stage conditions constantly improving with each passing car, the fastest times were set by those further down the running order. Lappi ended the day sixth, only nine seconds away from fifth, and 57.5 seconds ahead of Latvala. Tänak had closed to within half a second of Latvala before SS13, but then lost a minute-and-a-half after an incident while trying to pass a slower car. This dropped him back to ninth, but he did go on to win the super special stage in Karlstad, just as he had done when the rally began on Thursday night. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “This morning was going well: I felt good and was enjoying the driving. This afternoon however the car was not behaving well at all. The front differential was not working correctly and I was losing a lot of time, but we are changing the transmission in service so this should be sorted out for tomorrow. Then I’m sure the confidence will come, and if I am feeling good on the start line before the Power Stage then there’s a chance we can score some points there.” End of day three (Saturday): 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h23.23.8s 2 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +22.7s 3 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +32.0s 4 Hayden Paddon/Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +48.6s 5 Mads Östberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +56.8s 6 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m05.8s 7 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m03.3s 8 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkulaa (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m20.5s 9 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m41.3s 10 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m24.9s (Results as of 21:00 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? The final day of Rally Sweden consists of just three stages, beginning with two runs over the 21.19-kilometres Likenäs test in the morning. The crews will then return to the service park in Torsby for a regroup, before the Power Stage takes place on the nearby 9.56-kilometre Torsby test that was previously run on Friday night.

    Rally Sweden – Day 1 – Early promise for Toyota hampered by tough conditions

    February 16, 2018
    The first full day of Rally Sweden proved to be tougher than expected for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team. The team began the morning well with a stage win but was disadvantaged by the conditions on the snow-covered roads, which considerably favoured the drivers running further down the starting order. Following fresh snowfall, Ott Tänak’s confidence behind the wheel of the Toyota Yaris WRC was clear to see as he won the opening stage of the day, increasing the rally lead that he had established last night. On the subsequent stages however, both Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala suffered from running second and third on the road: a result of their excellent podium finishes on Rallye Monte-Carlo. This forced them to sweep loose snow from the surface and created quicker conditions for the drivers behind. Running further down the order, Esapekka Lappi was able to set some strong stage times and climb from eighth to second position over the day’s first four stages. On stage six, he ran wide at a junction and collected a large amount of snow in his car’s air filter, reducing the amount of power available. He lost half a minute and ended the day in seventh position, one place in front of Latvala and two places in front of Tänak. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “It has been a really demanding day. Firstly, we had the fresh snow this morning and then on the second pass through the stages we had to follow the narrower lines of the historic cars and it was extremely slippery outside of those lines. I could not really push any more than I did, but that’s the way it is. I have been quite happy with the car and tomorrow will hopefully be a more positive situation for us.” End of day one (Friday): 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 1h16m13.1s 2 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4.9s 3 Hayden Paddon/Sebastian Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +12.1s 4 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +12.6s 5 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +13.2s 6 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +29.6s 7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +38.5s 8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m06.2s 9 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m29.0s 10 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m43.6s (Results as of 18:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Tomorrow’s schedule features eight stages, beginning in the morning with a loop of three tests. Among these is the Vargasen stage which features Colin’s Crest, a famous jump named in honour of 1995 World Rally Champion Colin McRae with an award given for the furthest leap. The three stages are repeated after mid-day service, before a second visit to the super special stage in Karlstad and the Torsby Sprint test next to the service park. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team

    Rally Sweden 2018 – Preview – Yaris WRC drivers ready to star on Swedish snow

    February 15, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team heads to Rally Sweden (February 15-18) for the second round of the 2018 season with ambitions of a strong result on the snow and ice spectacular. The team already enjoyed a great start to the year with a double podium on last month’s Rallye Monte-Carlo and now moves on to the scene of the Toyota Yaris WRC’s maiden victory last year in the hands of Jari-Matti Latvala, with the clear aim of repeating that success. A founding round of the world championship in 1973, Rally Sweden is the only full winter rally on the calendar. 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: provided there is enough snow to do it. Full winter conditions are expected this year. A superspecial kicks off the action in Karlstad in Thursday night before much of Friday’s action takes place over the border in Norway. Saturday features classic Swedish stage names such as Hagfors and Vargasen, followed by a repeat of the Karlstad and a ‘sprint’ near the service park in Torsby. It’s there where the rally will end with the Power Stage on Sunday, after two runs of the Likenas test. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “Sweden is one of my favourite rallies and actually the place where I took my first WRC victory 10 years ago – although it really doesn’t feel like so long ago! Compared to last year I think we have a better car: we concentrated on improving it on the slower and more technical sections during our test, and we definitely made a step forward in this area. Having said that, the competition is even tougher this year: within our own team as well. It’s going to be a really nice challenge in proper winter conditions and that of course helps me raise my own game; I’m confident we can fight for the win again. This weekend I’m also taking part in a local rally on snow in Finland with Juho Hänninen in my historic Toyota Celica, so this will be a lot of fun and the perfect way to prepare.” What happened last year? Last year’s Rally Sweden marked the first win for Toyota following a 17-year absence from the top step of the podium, courtesy of Jari-Matti Latvala: his 17th win and Toyota’s 44th. A total of 32 cars made it to the finish from 41 starters. The fastest stage (SS9) was run at a remarkable average of 137.81kph, while the slowest stage was the Karlstad super special at 72.69kph. Ott Tänak, now a Toyota driver, finished second. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team.
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