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    Wales Rally GB – Friday – Drama day for Jari-Matti and Miikka

    October 4, 2019
    The Toyota Yaris WRC led throughout the first full day of Rally GB, with championship leader Ott Tänak moving to the top of the leaderboard this evening following four stage wins. Kris Meeke is third, only 3.6 seconds behind Tänak, after leading for much of the day on his home event. Fastest on Thursday night’s opening stage at Oulton Park, Meeke took the rally lead into today’s nine stages across north Wales. Heavy rain through the night and morning made the stages particularly muddy and slippery. The Toyota drivers enjoyed a strong morning in the tricky conditions. While Meeke opened up a six-second advantage out front, Jari-Matti Latvala was joint fastest on SS5 to climb up into third just ahead of Tänak, who won two of the first four stages. Latvala was unfortunately forced to retire from the rally after he crashed on SS7: his car’s rollcage was too badly damaged for a restart to be possible tomorrow. The second loop of the day ended in darkness, with Tänak excelling to win the final two stages and take over the rally lead from his team-mate. Tänak’s advantage over second place is 3.4s, with Meeke just two tenths of a second further back. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “At first this morning, I wasn’t in the right rhythm with my driving but then in Dyfnant and Aberhirnant it was definitely going much better, even though the grip was changing a lot. In SS7, I came over a crest and the car went light, I lost the rear immediately, we hit the bank and rolled. I just had a little bit too much speed and jumped a bit too far. It’s very disappointing to be out of the rally: not only for myself but also for the team, as it was my job to try to bring some good points for the championship.” END OF DAY TWO (FRIDAY): 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1h14m30.8s 2 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +3.4s 3 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3.6s 4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +8.4s 5 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +25.7s 6 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +33.5s 7 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +37.4s 8 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +51.8s 9 Pontus Tidemand/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m56.6s 10 Jan Kopecký/Jan Hloušek (Škoda Fabia R5 Evo) +4m01.1s Retired Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC)

    Wales Rally GB – Preview – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing confident heading into the Welsh forests

    October 1, 2019
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team moves on to Rally GB (October 3-6) confident of a strong result on the tricky Welsh stages. With three rounds remaining in the 2019 season, Ott Tänak takes the lead of drivers’ standings to a rally on which he has performed strongly in the past. Jari-Matti Latvala is making his 18th start on an event he’s won twice before, while the team’s British crew of Kris Meeke and Seb Marshall can look forward to the support of the home crowds. A classic event of the WRC, Rally GB takes place predominantly on gravel roads in the forests of Wales, which are relatively fast when dry. Autumn can however mean a high likelihood of rain and even fog, and stages that are muddy and slippery with frequent changes of grip levels. The rally has a new home this year in the north Welsh coastal town of Llandudno. There is also a new start location in the city of Liverpool on Thursday and subsequent first stage at the Oulton Park racing circuit, which last welcomed the rally in 1993. There are nine stages in total on Friday, the last of which will be run in darkness. Saturday’s action is mostly in mid-Wales with a trio of forest stages each run twice with just a tyre fitting zone in-between, before a new asphalt stage along Colwyn Bay seafront in the evening. There’s another asphalt test on the final day along the Great Orme coastal road, separating two passes of the Alwen and Brenig stages. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “Rally GB is special for me and I’ve always enjoyed it. The main challenge, of course, is always the weather: Over the years I’ve been competing there I’ve seen snow, ice, horrendous wind, and rain from nearly every angle! If it’s raining while you’re in the stage, it can actually wash away the mud and give you better grip, but when it’s drying out it can be very greasy and slippery. I’m looking forward to it and to picking up where I left off in Finland and Germany when I had a good rhythm with the driving. Hopefully we can achieve another good result to help the team in the championship.” What happened last year? Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi gave Toyota a double podium finish – a fourth in a row for the team – in second and third overall, with Latvala fighting hard for the rally win until the end. Ott Tänak led the rally before a heavy impact forced him to retire from the penultimate day.

    Rally Turkey – Final – A POWER STAGE WIN AND CRUCIAL POINTS FOR TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

    September 16, 2019
    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. 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 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.
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