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    Rally Australia – Day 3 – STRONG PERFORMANCE OF TOYOTA YARIS WRC GOES UNREWARDED IN AUSTRALIA

    December 9, 2017
    At the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship in Australia, Toyota Yaris WRC driver Esapekka Lappi has finished sixth. His team mate Jari-Matti Latvala was second right until the final Power Stage, when he went off. Nonetheless, he concludes the 2017 drivers’ championship in fourth position, after only the first full year for Toyota since returning to series for the first time in 18 years, while TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is third in the manufacturers’ championship on its debut. The final short day on Rally Australia concluded with just five stages, but heavy rain made it extremely tricky and slippery, after a rally that had been characterised by inconsistent conditions from the start. The weather even led to the penultimate stage being cancelled for safety reasons. The final test was the Power Stage, in which Lappi placed third after a strong run, ending a great season for the Yaris WRC. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “Obviously this is not the way that I wanted to end the year but this is rallying and you have to take the most and learn from every experience, even if it doesn’t feel like a positive one at the time. We were pushing hard on the Power Stage to try and maximise our chances of doing something special and when you are pushing hard these things can happen. Up until then it had been a good rally for us and we managed to get very close to the front, especially after the first stage this morning. I’d like to apologise for my mistake today after a huge effort from everyone here, and most of all say a big ‘thank you’ to the whole team for delivering a year that went beyond all my expectations.” FINAL RESULT, RALLY AUSTRALIA: 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h35m44.8s 2 Ott Tänak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +22.5s 3 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +59.1s 4 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m27.7s 5 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m05.6s 6 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m49.5s 7 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC): +22m58.4s 8 Richie Dalton/John Allen (Skoda Fabia R5) +24m39.6s 9 Nathan Quinn/Ben Searcy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) +25m03.4s 10 Dean Herridge/Sam Hill (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) +29m52.3s Retired Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2017 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR DRIVERS AFTER ROUND 13: 1 Sebastien Ogier 232 2 Thierry Neuville 208 3 Ott Tänak 191 4 Jari-Matti Latvala 136 5 Elfyn Evans 128 6 Dani Sordo 95 7 Kris Meeke 77 8 Hayden Paddon 74 9 Juho Hänninen 71 10 Craig Breen 64 11 Esapekka Lappi 62 2017 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER ROUND 13: 1 M-Sport World Rally Team 428 2 Hyundai Motorsport 345 3 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT 251 4 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 218 Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT

    Rally Australia – Day 2 – TOYOTA YARIS WRC DRIVERS MOVE UP THE ORDER IN AUSTRALIA

    November 18, 2017
    Heading into the final day of Rally Australia, Jari-Matti Latvala is runner-up with the chance to take full advantage of any opportunities that arise tomorrow, having powered his way up from fourth place this morning. Esapekka Lappi has also moved up into the points, despite the big handicap of running first on the road. On a day characterised by intermittent rain that made judging grip extremely tricky, Latvala found the perfect compromise between speed and consistency to move up to second place by the end of the day, even with one stage cancelled in the afternoon. It was a good day for Esapekka Lappi as well, who is now ninth after a trouble-free run and is targeting a strong performance on the Power Stage tomorrow. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “Another good day for our team in tricky mixed conditions, with perfect reliability from both cars and drivers, who made no mistakes, and good information from our weather crews. A lot of teams have had issues today, so we can be happy with our performance. It was particularly challenging for Esapekka, who was first on the road today with not many repeated stages, which meant that he was always cleaning loose gravel. Not easy, but a good learning experience for him and he is back in the points now. Jari-Matti did another very good job as well to move up to second. Now he is in a perfect position to finish on the podium tomorrow if everything goes well, with the good chance of course to take advantage of any other opportunities that come his way.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “It was damp and even wet in some places this morning, so the soft tyre was definitely the correct choice. In the afternoon it was drying out, but just before leaving service we had some information that there were some showers as. Our plan was to go with full hard tyres, but as a result of this new information we decided to swap and take two softs. That information was absolutely correct: it was damp at the beginning and end of the long stage. I don’t think I quite got the right feeling with the balance of the car, but it was still a good day and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. My only regret is that we had one stage cancelled because of a damaged bridge, as I think that stage could have suited us.” Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC

    RALLY AUSTRALIA: DAY1 – TOYOTA YARIS WRC DRIVERS SHOW THEIR SPEED ON FIRST DAY OF RALLY AUSTRALIA

    November 17, 2017
    Flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala ends the opening day of Australian action in a fighting fourth place, ahead of his TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team mate Esapekka Lappi, who battled his way back up to 11th position following an early setback. Both cars had a challenging opening morning in the Australian forests before making up time in the afternoon, but are ready to take on the hot and demanding gravel conditions again tomorrow. Latvala’s rally got off to a tricky start when he lost his intercom and the front splitter in the morning, holding back his progress. The intercom problem was swiftly fixed following the opening stage, after he replaced the cable, but the bodywork damage had to wait until the midday service halt. Once the Finn had the car exactly to his liking he was able to make impressive progress in the afternoon, moving up from sixth to fourth overall. Lappi was forced to complete the morning stages with no power steering, but was also able to show his front-running speed in the afternoon. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “After a difficult start for both our crews in the morning, for different reasons, the afternoon was a very good one for both Jari-Matti and Esapekka, as they made their way back up the order. Rally Australia has a reputation for being very challenging and it certainly lived up to that reputation today. So a big ‘thank you’ not just to the two driving crews, who did a very good job as usual, but especially to our mechanics, whose work was absolutely vital to our results today. Thanks to their excellent performance in the service park, we were able to put the two cars back in perfect condition and set some promising times in the afternoon.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “It wasn’t a perfect way to start for us on the rally here as my intercom broke on the first stage. When you’re pushing hard, it definitely helps to be able to hear your co-driver! Then I also lost the front splitter, which obviously affected the handling of the car. But I’m pretty satisfied with our progress in the afternoon. It was important for us to get back up to fourth after the forest stages this afternoon, as this will give us a better road position tomorrow. To fight for a podium on this rally you have to be in the top five really: if you’re out of the top five than it becomes too tricky with the road position.” END OF DAY 1(FRIDAY): 1 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 57m51.9s 2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +20.1s 3 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC): +20.8s 4 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +29.9s 5 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC): +30.8s 6 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +33.0s 7 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +38.2s 8 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +47.9s 9 Stephane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau (Citroen C3 WRC): +57.3s 10 Elfyn

    RALLY AUSTRALIA: PREVIEW – AUSTRALIA THE FINAL TEST FOR THE YARIS WRC IN ITS DEVELOPMENT SEASON

    November 16, 2017
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will conclude its debut season in the FIA World Rally Championship season at Rally Australia on November 16-19. At the end of a campaign where learning and car development has been the main priority, the Yaris WRC will be put through its paces competitively for one last time this year by Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi. Rally Australia is held in New South Wales on varied gravel roads, with a combination of tight and twisty forest tracks and fast and flowing sections across open countryside. Trees line the side of the roads in many places, ready to catch out the unwary, while hanging dust can also be an added challenge. The rally is based in the coastal city of Coffs Harbour, and begins just to the north on Friday morning with three new-look stages that are then repeated in the afternoon. Friday and Saturday end with two passes of a sea-front super special stage in Coffs Harbour. The rest of Saturday’s action takes place to the south and includes the 49-kilometre Nambucca stage, which is separated in two for the afternoon pass. There are five stages on Sunday, with the second pass of Wedding Bells as the Power Stage. Quotes: Kaj Lindström (Sporting Director) “I’m very pleased that Tommi asked me to take on the role of Sporting Director. It’s a big challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been around rallying for a long time as a co-driver, including this year with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, so I know what happens during a rally weekend. But there are also a few different things that I don’t know about yet: a lot happens before the event and during the rally, while I used to be on the stages as a co-driver. So there are things that will be new for me, and I’m going to Rally Australia as a bit of a rookie in the job! The team’s preparation for the event has been good and I believe we can do well there. Jari-Matti has done it many times before, and Esapekka did well there in WRC2 last year. The weather forecast shows that there might be some thunderstorms during the rally, which could make things interesting! Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “I’m really looking forward to Rally Australia. It’s a nice event to finish the year, usually in warm conditions and sunshine. The stages are fast and flowing and it’s a rally that I have pretty much always enjoyed. This year there will be some new sections and parts that have not been used for a long time. On Rally GB we struggled slightly but I think the Yaris WRC should be well-suited to the stages in Australia. Personally I want to go out there and really push for the podium, and if we could challenge for the victory that would be even better.” Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team
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