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    Rally RACC – Day 2 – THE TOYOTA YARIS WRC SHOWS ITS ASPHALT SPEED

    October 26, 2019
    Jari-Matti Latvala showed good pace during the day, going second-quickest on both runs over the Querol stage. He ended the day in fifth place having opened up an advantage of over 20 seconds to the driver behind. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “Overall, I must say that today has been good. At first this morning, I struggled with the brakes a bit after the change from gravel, but in the second stage already I had a very good feeling with the car. The afternoon started pretty well too. On El Montmell I ran wide, hit something and damaged the steering arm so we lost a bit of time there. But otherwise, it has been a positive day. Tomorrow I’m going to try to keep the pressure on and see what happens, as we need as many points as we can get.” END OF DAY TWO (SATURDAY): 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h25m15.8s 2 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +21.5s 3 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +24.6s 4 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +25.2s 5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +46.8s 6 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m09.2s 7 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m24.5s 8 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +4m09.9s 9 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +6m35.2s 10 Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (Citroën C3 R5) +6m38.2s 39 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +42m38.7s What’s next? The final day consists of a pair of asphalt stages close to Salou, which will both be run twice either side of service. The latter test, La Mussara, will host the rally-ending Power Stage, where the maximum of five bonus points on offer could prove crucial in the drivers’ championship. Key stage: La Mussara (SS15 & SS17, 20.72 kilometres) Miikka Anttila (Co-driver car 10): “This is probaly the one stage this weekend that none of the crews have much experience on. The first six kilometres were driven in 2016; the rest not for a long time in this direction. In the beginning, the road turns a lot, and once on top of the hill it’s very fast and flat-out in places. Then it’s back to a slower road down to the finish.”

    Rally RACC – Day 1 – TOYOTA YARIS WRC TRIO APPLYING THE PRESSURE AHEAD OF SURFACE SWITCH

    October 25, 2019
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is in contention for the top places on Rally de España at the end of a demanding opening day over gravel. Kris Meeke is fourth, Ott Tänak is fifth and Jari-Matti Latvala is sixth with two days on asphalt still to come in the season’s only true mixed-surface event. Running first on the road as championship leader, Tänak had a consistent and strong start to the rally to end the morning loop of stages in third overall. His road position put him at more of a disadvantage in the afternoon, with the mostly gravel roads now increasingly dried out after heavy rainfall in the Catalunya region earlier in the week. Meeke also started the day well, and although he fell back to sixth at the start of the afternoon, he fought back to fourth with the second-best time on the second pass of La Fatarella-Vilalba, the longest stage of the rally at 38.85 kilometres. He is only 13 seconds from the leader and 5.4s from third place. Tänak is 8.7s further away and still with a strong possibility of securing his maiden drivers’ title on Sunday. Eighth after the morning loop, Latvala enjoyed a very strong afternoon to sit sixth overnight, 8.4s behind Tänak. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “This day on gravel was not as simple as last year. After the rain earlier in the week, the grip level was much lower, and it was more difficult this morning. Then in the afternoon, the grip was pretty consistent, but there were many ruts. I wasn’t confident enough this morning, but we made some changes with the suspension in service, and I fought back in the afternoon. I feel a lot more relaxed and confident now and I’m looking forward to the next two days on asphalt.” END OF DAY ONE (FRIDAY): 1 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 1h21m24.7s 2 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.7s 3 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +7.6s 4 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +13.0s 5 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +21.7s 6 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +30.1s 7 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +44.0s 8 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +51.8s 9 Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m50.3s 10 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +2m59.8s What’s next? The Toyota Yaris WRCs are converted into asphalt specification during an extended 75-minute service this evening. Tomorrow, the crews will tackle a loop of three stages to the north east, repeating them after mid-day service. A short stage on the Salou seafront rounds out the day. Key stage: El Montmell (SS9 & SS12, 24.40 kilometres) Miikka Anttila (Co-driver car 10): “The second and third stages of the loop have a very similar character, as they’re both pretty fast and not so much like the mountain roads. The latter one does become a bit slower and more narrow towards the end. When they’re dry and clean,

    Rally RACC – Preview – Toyota Yaris WRC set for crucial mixed-surface spectacular

    October 22, 2019
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is confident of taking its strong form onto both gravel and asphalt in the season’s only true mixed-surface event, Rally de España on October 24-27. Heading into the penultimate round of the year, the stakes are high: Toyota Yaris WRC driver Ott Tänak leads the drivers’ standings by 28 points and could clinch his first title in Spain, while the team is just eight points from the lead in the manufacturers’ standings after wins in three of the last four events. The rally is based in Salou on the Costa Daurada to the south of Barcelona and consists of one day of medium-speed gravel stages followed by two days on smooth and fast asphalt roads that are often likened to racing circuits. Uniquely, teams convert their cars from gravel to asphalt specification in an extended evening service after Friday’s opening leg, and drivers have to quickly adjust to the change of surface the following morning. Following shakedown and a ceremonial start in Salou on Thursday, this year’s rally begins on Friday with two loops of three stages held mostly on gravel, although there are some sections on asphalt in the La Fatarella – Vilalba stage, the longest of the weekend at 38.85 kilometres. Saturday has two loops of three asphalt stages, followed by a short stage in Salou itself. Sunday consists of two runs over the Riudecanyes and La Mussara stages, separated by service in Salou, with the second pass of the latter test as the rally-ending Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “The combination of gravel and asphalt in Spain is something I’ve always really liked. The gravel stages are quite smooth but very slippery, while the asphalt roads are best that we have in the championship: really smooth and fast. I had a test on asphalt in Spain last week and I had a really nice feeling in the car. I’m very motivated and looking forward to being back in the car, fighting for the best possible result as we try to win the manufacturers’ championship again.” What happened last year? Ott Tänak led the rally until a flat tyre on Saturday morning relegated him down the order. On the final day he was able to move up to sixth overall and post the best time on the Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala fought for the victory before contact with a barrier damaged a wheel and left him to finish eighth, one place behind Esapekka Lappi.
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