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    Tour de Corse – Day 2 – Retirement for Jari-Matti and Miikka

    April 8, 2018
    Both Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi are in the hunt for the Tour de Corse podium after a strong second day on the French round of the World Rally Championship. Tänak has moved into second overall, while Lappi is close behind in fourth after being quicker than anybody else across today’s six stages. Lappi was consistently quick throughout the day, proving the pace of the Yaris WRC after perfecting his setup during day one. He was never outside of the top three fastest times, and recorded his second stage win of the event on the 35.61-kilometre long SS8. Tänak was also a stage winner on SS7 – maintaining his record of winning a stage on every rally he has started for Toyota – as he kept up the pressure in the extremely close fight for second. Lappi and Tänak shared the fastest time on the day’s final stage, SS10: this moved Tänak up to second place by just one tenth of a second, and Lappi up to fourth position, only 10.4s behind his team-mate. Jari-Matti Latvala was unable to complete the day after hitting a tree with the rear of the car on SS8. He returned to service, where the team set to work to try and repair the damage so that he can restart under Rally 2 rules tomorrow. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “Ott and Esapekka have both been very, very good today. Everything looks very interesting for tomorrow, with both of them in a really close fight for the podium. With a 55 kilometre stage, anything can happen. As for Jari-Matti, although he went off and had to retire for the day, he was finally happy after the changes he was able to make to the setup. He found his confidence, and I am optimistic that our guys will be able to repair the car so that he can restart tomorrow and try to use that. I know that this is the rally where you have to have the maximum confidence with the car. If you don’t have it, you immediately lose a lot of time with so many corners. After just some small changes to the cars, our drivers now have that confidence and that is very good to see.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “After we made some changes in mid-day service, the car felt fantastic, so thank you to the team for that. It really gave me the confidence to push, but I maybe pushed a little bit too hard, got too sideways on a left-hand corner and hit a tree with the rear of the car. Normally I would not be smiling after going off the road, but I have some reason to be happy: Ott and Esapekka are going really quickly here, while I had been struggling, but then I found the speed. I learned what we had done wrong with the setup and why I was not fast. Unfortunately we won’t be able to take the start tomorrow as the damages are

    Tour de Corse 2018 – Shakedown – Yaris WRC trio prepared for Corsica’s twists and turns

    April 5, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has completed its final preparations for the French round of the FIA World Rally Championship with this morning’s shakedown stage near Bastia. The Tour de Corse begins with a ceremonial start in Place St Nicolas this evening before the first stages take place on Friday. Quotes: Tom Fowler (Chief Engineer) “The main target for shakedown today was to check that all of the systems are working on the cars. While the shakedown stage was quite representative of what is to come on the rally, we had a lot of heavy rain yesterday, so the road became dirty quite quickly. To do a good time you needed to be one of the first cars on the stage, which we weren’t, so we are not worrying much about the times. The cars are working well and we have our setup ready for tomorrow, when we are expecting drier conditions. It is very easy to make the mistake of changing the setup based on a shakedown that is not exactly representative of the conditions you’re expecting in the rally. We had a really good pre-event test and we are trusting the knowledge and confidence we gained from that.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “Shakedown was actually quite tough because there were damp conditions. There were a lot of cuts and with every passing car, there was more dirt coming onto the road and making it very slippery. We have focused more on the dry setup so the shakedown times were not very relevant for us. We know that the forecast for the rally is for it to be dry. The recce here was very tough, with nearly 1200 kilometres and so many corners to note, but now there is a chance to relax the mind before the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ begins tomorrow.” What’s next? The crews face a true Corsica test tomorrow morning with the 49-kilometre La Porta-Valle di Rostino stage kicking things off at 09:50. That is followed by Piedigriggio-Pont de Castirla, measuring 13.55 km, with both stages then repeated after mid-day service at Bastia Airport. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team

    Tour de Corse – Preview – Island asphalt challenge awaits TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

    April 5, 2018
    The twisting asphalt roads of Corsica lie ahead of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team on round four of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship season. The classic Tour de Corse is the first pure asphalt event of the year, but drivers Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi will take confidence from the performance of the Toyota Yaris WRC on the partly ice-covered roads of Rallye Monte-Carlo, where the team celebrated a double podium finish. Serving as France’s round of the WRC, the Tour de Corse is famed for its narrow and winding mountainous stages, which are often lined by rock faces on one side and steep drops on the other. Abrasive asphalt and long stages also mean that tyre wear is a factor. The rally is based at Bastia Airport on the eastern side of the island, where the action begins on Friday with two loops of two stages – one of which, La Porta-Valle di Rostino is 49.03 kilometres long. Saturday consists of two loops of three stages, focused on the northern coast and totalling 136.9 kilometres. On the final day, the action moves to the island’s capital Ajaccio on the western side of the island: The mammoth 55.17-kilometre Vero-Sarrola-Carcopino test – the longest on the rally since 1986 – is followed by 16.25-kilometre Pénitencier de Coti-Chiavari Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “I have some good memories of Corsica from my win there in 2015. It is certainly an asphalt rally that I like. There’s a reason they call it the Rally of 10,000 Corners: if you find any straight that is longer than 100 metres, you know you are on the wrong island! You cannot really cut the corners so much and there is not so much gravel on the road, which makes it really enjoyable as you can just focus on the corners and the lines. We had a very, very positive pre-event test. The feeling was extremely good and I am very confident with the car. All of the teams should be quick in Corsica, but I really hope we are up there fighting for the podium places.” The statistics (Tour de Corse): Year Jari-Matti Latvala Ott Tänak Esapekka Lappi 2017 4 11 – 2016 4 10 – 2015 1 10 14 What happened last year? The Toyota Yaris WRC came close to the podium on its Corsica debut last year, with Jari-Matti Latvala finishing fourth overall after a thrilling finish. Victory on the the Power Stage allowed him to claim fourth place at the end of the rally by just 0.1 seconds. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team
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