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    Rally Finland – Review – Jari-Matti and Miikka take the third position in Rally Finland

    July 29, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is celebrating victory on home soil on Rally Finland after Ott Tänak sealed a hugely impressive win by setting the fastest time on the Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala clinched third place to give the team a fantastic double podium. Tänak carried an advantage of 39 seconds into the final day of the rally, which consisted of two runs over the Laukaa and Ruuhimäki stages. After a careful approach to the first three stages, Tänak then claimed his 12th stage win of the weekend on the Power Stage (gaining five bonus points) to finish up 32.7s clear overall. He and co-driver Martin Järveoja celebrated at the finish on the top of their car together with Team Chairman Akio Toyoda and Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen. Latvala won the second and third stages of the day, helping to bring Toyota’s total of fastest times for the event up to 18 out of 23 stages. It also brought him closer to the driver in second place, finishing up only 2.8s behind as he scored a podium finish at his home event. Esapekka Lappi charged up to fourth place with a superb performance on Saturday, but retired when he crashed on the first stage of Sunday morning. The result moves the TOYOTA GAZOO World Rally Team to within one point of second place in the manufacturers’ standings, and closes the gap to the top to 27 points. In the drivers’ standings, Tänak remains third but has closed up to the top two drivers. Akio Toyoda (Team Chairman) “There is no happier feeling than to take victory in our home rally. I really appreciate all of our team members for bringing this excitement to us. I can sense that all our drivers seem to really enjoy driving on their home roads, even from my viewpoint beside the stages. The roads of Finland have helped us to make the Yaris WRC better for our drivers and help them really enjoy the driving. I really appreciate that I could enjoy this happiness in person and see the view from the top of the podium. Thanks to everyone in our team. I know Finland, where Tommi Mäkinen Racing is located, is also our TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team’s home. However, it’s the first time for me visiting here since we came back to the WRC. I never saw so many people supporting TOYOTA GAZOO Racing with their passion and enthusiasm. This helped give me the actual feeling that this place is our homeland. The special stages are also full of TGR’s flags and the fans waving the national flags of Finland and Estonia with the chants of “I love TOYOTA! I love Yaris”. The huge “Welcome to my home roads” billboards are hanging up in the roads. The burger shop staff are wearing T-shirts with the TGR logos. I have got to see how the hometown people welcomed us in our second year after 17 years’ break from WRC. And I

    Rally Finland – Day 2 – Super Saturday for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in Finland

    July 28, 2018
    The Toyota Yaris WRC continues to lead Rally Finland after an exceptional performance on Saturday, when it won all eight stages. Ott Tänak increased his leading margin to 39 seconds, Jari-Matti Latvala consolidated his podium position and Esapekka Lappi charged from eighth to fourth. During the afternoon, the three Toyota drivers posted the three fastest times on three consecutive stages, demonstrating the team’s strength on its home roads. Tänak won all four stages in the morning loop as he opened his rally lead up from 5.8s to 23.7s by mid-day service. Despite then adopting a more cautious approach in the afternoon, he continued to out-pace his nearest rival to sit more than half a minute clear with four stages remaining on Sunday. Latvala displayed consistent speed throughout the day – sharing a stage win with Tänak at the start of the afternoon – to close on the driver in second place overall, reducing his deficit to 5.4 seconds. Lappi gained two places on the first stage of the day and another two later on as he won each of the last three stages. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “Today has been absolutely brilliant. The performance from all three drivers and from our car has been incredible. Ott is making it look very easy, which of course it isn’t! His speed this morning was amazing, and he seems to be in control of everything. Jari-Matti and Esapekka have been getting better and better as well, and they clearly had the confidence to push very hard this afternoon. Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day, particularly with such a small gap between Jari-Matti and second place.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “It has been really enjoyable today. There was still a little bit of speed missing during the morning loop but we made some changes to the car in mid-day service and I started to get a better feeling and I could start to push more. This meant that I was wearing my tyres a lot, but it was amazing how fast we were still able to go. Of course, we need to try and attack tomorrow and try to get second place. But of course, if you do risks they need to be controlled risks and that’s important.” End of day three (Saturday): 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h13m18.2s 2 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +39.0s 3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +44.4s 4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m20.6s 5 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m29.6s 6 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m45.1s 7 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m07.6s 7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m17.9s 9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2m56.4s 10 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3m34.5s (Results as of 22:00 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Sunday consists of four stages located to the east of Jyväskylä, with two runs over the Laukaa and Ruuhimäki tests.

    Rally Finland – Day 1 – Toyota Yaris WRC ahead after a full day on Finnish roads

    July 28, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team leads after the first full day of Rally Finland. Ott Tänak delivered a strong performance throughout, winning five stages and leading by 5.8 seconds heading into Saturday. His team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala also occupies a podium position in third place. Already leading after the opening stage in Jyväskylä on Thursday evening, Tänak then won the first stage of Friday with an impressive drive. Despite his unfavourable road position, he had a close battle with Mads Ostberg over the rest of the day, with the pair trading places and even setting identical fastest times on the 20-kilometre-long Moksi 2, before Tänak took control in the evening. Latvala enjoyed a positive day on home ground, adding another stage win for Toyota on the second stage of the morning loop. He ended the day 23.1s off the lead and 13.3s ahead of fourth. Esapekka Lappi lost time on the day’s first stage when he stalled in a junction, but he showed strong speed in the afternoon, including being part of a top-three lock-out of the fastest times on SS9 for the Toyota Yaris WRC. He ended the day eighth, just 2.5s behind sixth. Quotes : Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “I think today has been pretty good. On the first stage it was difficult to get into the rhythm, but then I found it on the second stage. I also made the car a bit stiffer to have some more stability, and since that I’ve been happy. I was a bit too careful on the first stage this afternoon but I was able to fight back and claim third position. I am enjoying the driving and hopefully I can improve a bit more tomorrow.” End of day two (Friday): 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1h04m14.9s 2 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +5.8s 3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +23.1s 4 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +36.4s 5 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +46.1s 6 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +58.9s 7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m01.1s 8 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m01.4s 9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m34.1s 10 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m57.7s (Results as of 22:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Saturday is the longest day of the rally, with 142.86 competitive kilometres spread over eight stages around the town of Jämsa to the south of Jyväskylä. These include Pihlajakoski – the only stage unchanged from 2017 – and Kakaristo, a new stage that includes sections from the famous Ouninpohja test. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

    Rally Finland – SS1 – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing takes an early lead in Finland

    July 27, 2018
    Rally Finland is now underway following the opening stage in the centre of host city Jyvaskyla, which consisted of both asphalt and gravel. Watched on by enthusiastic crowds ? with strong support for the locally-based TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team ? Ott Tanak posted the fastest time to claim an early rally lead. The day began with a 4.26-kilometre shakedown at Vesala, which was far more representative of the high-speed gravel stages that make up the rest of the event. Here, Jari-Matti Latvala was the fastest of the team’s drivers in third, just ahead of Tanak in fourth, while Esapekka Lappi was 10th, but all three had a good feeling with the Toyota Yaris WRC. Tanak then won the 2.31-kilometre Harju stage, 0.7 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Lappi was fifth and Latvala was eighth, with 2.8 seconds covering the top 11 cars. Quotes: Tom Fowler (Chief Engineer) “Unlike tonight’s first stage, the shakedown was reasonably representative of what is to come during the rally, as a proper gravel stage. The stage conditions deteriorated quite quickly so it is hard to compare the times between the different teams. We didn’t have any technical issues, and the drivers didn’t make any big changes to their setups. In this year’s route there are some more technical and twisty sections, but a huge majority of it is still traditional Rally Finland: wide roads, high speeds and the usual jumps. We are confident in those conditions, but the competition is very strong. Everyone has moved forward from last year and some of our rivals start with a very good road position, so I think it will be a good battle.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “My time on the first stage was OK: There were a couple of mistakes but it was just important to get this stage done and get the rally started. Shakedown went well this morning. We made some small modifications to the car between runs and it gave me a very good feeling. The first target this weekend is to have a clean rally, but if everything goes well, I hope to be on the podium or even fight for the victory.” End of day one (Thursday): 1 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1m49.2s 2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.7s 3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.8s 4 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.9s 5 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.7s 6 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.8s 7 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.8s 8 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2.3s 9 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2.6s 10 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +2.6s (Results as of 21:30 on Thursday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Ten stages make up the first full day of Rally Finland. The morning loop of four stages includes the returning Moski and brand-new Assamaki. All four stages are repeated in the afternoon, preceded
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