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    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing confirms WRC driver line-up for 2019 Meeke to join Tänak and Latvala in driving the Yaris WRC

    October 17, 2018
    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is pleased to confirm its driver line-up for the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season, when it will again enter three Toyota Yaris WRC models on every event. Ott Tänak will continue to drive the Toyota Yaris WRC next year alongside co-driver Martin Järveoja after joining the team of the 2018 season, during which they have already won on four occasions and are challenging for the drivers’ championship. Jari-Matti Latvala will also stay with the team. The experienced Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila have been a key part of the team since its debut in Monte Carlo in January 2017. They scored the first podium of Toyota’s WRC return on the very same event, and the first victory just a few weeks later in Sweden. Latvala has achieved four podiums so far this year, including three in the last four rounds. Joining Tänak and Latvala in the line-up for 2019 will be Kris Meeke. The Northern Irishman is recognised as one of the quickest drivers in the WRC, claiming five rally wins since 2015. Meeke, whose co-driver will be confirmed at a later date, will join TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team to form a fast and experienced driver line-up. Esapekka Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm will leave the team following the conclusion of the 2018 season. The pair made their debut in the top category of the WRC with Toyota on Rally Portugal last year, and soon scored their maiden victory at Rally Finland. This season they have taken three podium finishes so far, contributing to the team’s current position in the lead of the manufacturers’ championship. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team would like to thank Esapekka and Janne for their hard work. Quotes: Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman) “To Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm: Thank you for battling together with us as part of our team over the last two years. Your victory at last season’s Rally Finland was outstanding. We were all truly impressed. With your youthful exuberance, Esapekka, you have provided the team with immense motivation. At this year’s Rally Finland, I was able to witness first-hand how much you value your fans, and how much you are loved by them. I am full of gratitude to you for strengthening TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s bond with its supporters. Co-driver Janne, you were always joking, lightening the mood, and energizing our team. If I hear hearty laughter coming from a rival team’s tent at WRC rallies next year, it will be reassuring to know that both you and Esapekka-our former partners-are flourishing. I have no doubt that next season Esapekka and Janne will again make us stronger-this time as our rivals. It excites me to think that we will once again have an opportunity to energize the WRC together. Until then, however, let us make sure we fight for this year’s championship to the very end! TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will continue with its efforts to create ever-better cars so that, until the

    Wales Rally GB – Final – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing increases its lead with another double podium

    October 7, 2018
    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. 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. 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.” 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

    Wales Rally GB – Saturday – Latvala and Lappi fighting at the front with the Toyota Yaris WRC

    October 6, 2018
    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi are part of a close battle for victory heading into the final day of Wales Rally GB, where 13.5 seconds separate the top four drivers. Latvala is second overall, only 4.4s away from the lead, with Lappi 7.4s behind that in third. Ott Tänak was leading the rally but had to stop in SS16 after sustaining radiator damage. Today the crews faced the longest day of the rally, with 150 competitive kilometres split across nine stages on classic gravel roads in Mid Wales, all to be tackled without a mid-day service. Over the morning loop of five stages, Tänak increased his lead – which he had held since Friday morning – to 48 seconds, but he sustained a broken radiator in SS16 and stopped in order to try and prevent damage to his engine. The team expects that the car will be ready to restart tomorrow under Rally2 rules. Latvala and Lappi had spent the morning in a tight fight with each other and their rivals: Lappi got ahead on SS10 before Latvala reclaimed the place on SS13. Latvala then went on to set the fastest time in both SS14 and SS17, putting him in a strong position to contend tomorrow for his third victory in Wales, with Lappi not far behind. Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “It was obviously very disappointing that Ott had to stop, as he had been going so well. We have to do a careful investigation into what happened, and if there are some modifications needed then we have to react as soon as we can. On the plus side, Jari-Matti is now fighting for the win and it is very, very close between him and Ogier. It is a great opportunity and if he can find full confidence in the morning, then I am sure he can do it. Esapekka is right there as well and hopefully both will be on the podium tomorrow.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “After Ott had to retire, I realised that the door was open for the victory and I started to push harder, and the feeling was getting better and better. On the final stage I stalled in the ruts in a hairpin and I lost a few seconds, but we still have a day to go. It has been a while since my last win, so the motivation is definitely very high to go for it tomorrow.” End of day three (Saturday): 1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 2h31m04.3s 2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4.4s 3 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +11.8s 4 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +13.5s 5 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +34.1s 6 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +36.5s 7 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +45.4s 8 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +55.5s 9 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +7m30.8s 10 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +8m33.9s

    Wales Rally GB – Friday – A great day for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC crews

    October 5, 2018
    The Toyota Yaris WRC occupies three of the top four positions at the end of the first full day of competition on Wales Rally GB, following a great performance in typically difficult conditions. Ott Tänak led from the morning’s first stage and has built up an advantage of nearly half a minute, with team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi holding third and fourth places respectively. Tänak, who arrived in Britain on a run of three consecutive victories, began the day with a hat-trick of stage wins on the slippery forest tracks of north Wales. In the afternoon he was fastest again on the second passes of the Clocaenog and Brenig stages – despite suffering a puncture on the latter – and ended the day 28.8 seconds ahead of his closest rival. After making a steady start to the day, both Latvala and Lappi gained performance as the day went on, improving their cars’ setups to suit the conditions. Latvala ended the day only 2.5s away from second place, with Lappi just 4.6s behind that. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “Today has generally been quite good. At first this morning I was struggling with some understeer but we made some tweaks to the dampers and I started to gain confidence. This afternoon, in Brenig, I wasn’t feeling my best and we lost some time, but in Penmachno I got the feeling back and even though it was quite slippery in places, the time was reasonably good. I’m actually really looking forward to tomorrow. Myherin, Hafren, Dyfnant, Dyfi: these are really nice stages. They are wider, more flowing and are better for my driving style.” End of day two (Friday): 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1h06m04.3s 2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +28.8s 3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +31.3s 4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +35.9s 5 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +38.2s 6 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +48.8s 7 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m06.4s 8 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m08.4s 9 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m24.3s 10 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5) +3m08.4s (Results as of 18:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Day three of this year’s Wales Rally GB is billed as Super Saturday, taking in nine stages and almost 150 competitive kilometres in mid Wales. The itinerary includes two runs over classic stages such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb Hafren and Dyfi. The first crew will leave the Deeside service park at 05:45 and not return until around 19:30, with only a tyre fitting zone in Newtown in the middle of the day. Press release TOYOTA GAZZO Racing WRT
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