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    Podium for Jari-Matti and Miikka on home soil!

    August 4, 2019
    For the third year in a row, the Toyota Yaris WRC has won the fastest event on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Rally Finland. Ott Tänak repeated his victory from one year ago to increase his championship lead, while Jari-Matti Latvala finished third on his home event. It means the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team – which is based in Finland – maintains its record of getting two cars onto the podium on the event every year since its debut in 2017. Tänak moved into the lead on Saturday following an intense battle with his team-mates, and took a lead of 16.4 seconds into the final day. He instantly increased that to 20s in the first of the final four stages, when he claimed his 200th career WRC stage win: also his 120th in the Yaris WRC and 50th so far this season. Guided by co-driver Martin Järveoja, Tänak went on to set another fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage as he clinched his victory, outpacing his nearest rival by 0.7 seconds to take the maximum 30 points away from the rally. His championship lead increases to 22 points. Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila took their eighth stage win of the event on SS21 on their way to sealing their first podium finish of the season. The double podium haul helps the team to close up to the leader in the manufacturers’ championship. Kris Meeke had fought with team-mates Tänak and Latvala for the rally lead until he retired Saturday morning. He restarted the event this morning, but had to stop again in the penultimate stage when he hit a rock on the inside of a bend and damaged his car’s front-left corner. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “I’m really really happy to be back on the podium here on Rally Finland. It has been almost nine months since I last had a podium, a really really long time. I think the opportunity was there to go for second place, but this time I think it was better not to take the risk. We really needed the points for the future, not just for myself but also for the team. Today I was more relaxed than yesterday afternoon and the performance was good. This result gives us more confidence to keep fighting for more podiums in the upcoming rallies.” PROVISONAL FINAL RESULT, RALLY FINLAND 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h30m40.3s 2 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) +25.6s 3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +33.2s 4 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger-Amland (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +53.4s 5 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +56.1s 6 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m32.4s 7 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m38.2s 8 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m33.8s 9 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) +7m54.1s 10 Nikolay Gryazin/Yaroslav Federov (Skoda Fabia R5) +10m28.7s Retired Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT

    Rally Finland – Saturday – 3rd position for Jari-Matti and Miikka ahead of the last day of Rally Finland

    August 3, 2019
    The Toyota Yaris WRC continues to lead on its home roads on Finland with just four stages remaining. After moving up into first place during this morning, FIA World Rally Championship leader Ott Tänak takes an advantage of 16.4 seconds into the final day, while Jari-Matti Latvala also occupies a podium position in third overall. Latvala had begun the day in the rally lead, 1.2 seconds ahead of team-mate Kris Meeke with Tänak just a further 1.4s back in fourth place. Tänak, now benefitting from a better road position than he had on Friday, took the lead by winning the morning’s first stage, only for Latvala to claim it back on the following test. At that point, the Toyota trio were separated by just 0.6s. A large rock on the outside of a fast right-hand bend in SS14 caused problems for two of the drivers. Meeke hit it and broke his car’s left-rear suspension, forcing him to retire for the day, although he will restart tomorrow. Latvala also made contact with the rock, damaging a wheel and losing around 13.9 seconds to Tänak. Tänak was able to manage his newly-found advantage during the afternoon, while Latvala adopted a more cautious approach and has a margin of 21.7 seconds over fourth place. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “We had a fantastic morning speed-wise, fighting for the lead with our team-mates, and I had a really good feeling with the car. But in Kakaristo I was too fast in a right-hander, ran wide into a ditch and hit a big rock. In the afternoon, I knew that I couldn’t afford to make any more mistakes so I tried to find a comfortable speed where I would be avoiding risks. At the same time Esapekka was able to raise his pace, so I couldn’t match that. I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find the right rhythm, but to get the points is the most important thing: To be on the podium tomorrow would be a really important result for myself, but also for the team.” Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT

    Rally Finland – Friday – LATVALA LEADS A THRILLING FINNISH FIGHT FOR THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC TRIO

    August 2, 2019
    All three Toyota Yaris WRC drivers feature in an incredibly close lead battle after the first full day on the ultra-fast forest roads of Rally Finland. Jari-Matti Latvala leads overnight, 1.2 seconds ahead of team-mate Kris Meeke, with the team’s championship leader Ott Tänak just 2.6s away from the lead in fourth position. The day featured 10 stages in all, and the Yaris WRC set the fastest time on all but two tests. Despite running first on the road due to his championship position, Tänak was able to hold the lead throughout the opening loop, returning to service in Jyväskylä with a margin of just over five seconds over his two team-mates. On the second pass of stages in the afternoon loop, Tänak was at more of a disadvantage, encountering roads that had been heavily rutted after the whole field had passed through earlier in the day. Latvala immediately moved into the lead and managed to hold it until the end of the day – after winning six stages in total – even though the top four were covered by just 0.6s at one point. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “It has been a brilliant fight today. We know that the time gaps here in Finland are often very small, but I can’t remember when it was quite so close like this. All three of our drivers have been doing a great job, with such small differences between them: It has been amazing to watch. But we are not alone in the fight, as Esapekka has also been very fast, so they will all need to keep pushing tomorrow.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “It’s been a really good day. There were a couple of stages where the time was a little bit down, but generally I was able to have a strong performance. It has been so tight and the pressure has really been on, so it’s pleasing to be able to keep up the speed and not make mistakes when you’re trying to find the difference anywhere you can. Tomorrow I think the morning loop is going to be crucial because there are some new sections, and the profile of the road is generally a bit different: Wider with more crests and jumps.” Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT

    Rally Finland – Preview – Toyota Yaris WRC chases a third win on home roads

    July 25, 2019
    TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is targeting a third Rally Finland victory in as many years when the 2019 season resumes on August 1-4. The Finnish gravel stages are the fastest on the calendar and also home roads for the Toyota Yaris WRC, developed at the team’s headquarters close to the rally sevice park in Jyväskylä. The team’s drivers are all previous winners of Rally Finland: Ott Tänak won with Toyota in 2018 and Kris Meeke took victory in 2016, while Jari-Matti Latvala has won his home event on three occasions (2010, ’14 and ’15). The rally is held on smooth gravel roads in the forests of central Finland, which feature many large jumps and numerous crests. Accurate pace-notes and the positioning of the car are crucial to carrying maximum speed. Because of the high speeds, time differences are smaller than usual, and mistakes are more easily punished. The route for this year’s Rally Finland is similar to the 2018 event, when around 65 per cent was new. It begins on Thursday evening with the traditional mixed-surface Harju stage in Jyväskylä itself, before heading west on Friday for a total of 10 stages. Saturday is made up of eight stages to the south-west totalling 132.98 kilometres, including the returning Leustu test. The rally ends with two runs over Laukkaa and Ruuhimäki on Sunday, with the second pass of the latter as the Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “I’ve had a good summer break and I’m feeling ready to restart the season on Rally Finland. I tried to have some time away from rallying, but we also had a couple of days of testing to prepare for this event, and it’s always enjoyable to be back driving on fast gravel roads here in Finland. These are the roads where I feel at home, and I always get a lot positive support during the week of the rally. Last year, it’s where our season took a more positive turn with a podium finish and I hope we can do similar this time. The speed is there on gravel, we know that from the last few events, so now we just need to try and secure a good result.” Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT
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