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    Rally de Portugal – Day 2 – LAPPI AND LATVALA PUSH ON IN PORTUGAL

    May 20, 2018
    Saturday was a stronger day for the Toyota Yaris WRC on Rally Portugal. Jari-Matti Latvala returned to action and put his retirement yesterday firmly behind him, demonstrating his speed by claiming two stage wins. Esapekka Lappi also had a strong day, keeping himself in contention for a podium place in a closely-fought battle. Restarting under the Rally 2 regulations, Latvala immediately got up to speed and won the first stage of the day, Vieira do Minho, where Lappi was third quickest. The Finnish pair was also in the top three on the third and final stage of the morning loop, Amarante, which was the longest of the rally at 37.6 kilometres. Latvala went on to take another fastest time on the penultimate stage of the day, Cabeceiras de Basto 2. Throughout the day, Lappi’s times were only bettered by those running behind him on the road, who enjoyed more favourable conditions on the sandy gravel tracks as those at the front swept the road clean. Embroiled in a close fight for fourth, he ended the day 11.1 seconds behind the position, and within 15.8s of third place. Quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “This has been a positive day for us. We are very, very pleased to see Jari-Matti do so well today, with two fastest times and a very competitive day. The Power Stage will be an important target for him tomorrow. Esapekka meanwhile had a proper fight all day long, it was very tight. He showed that he can keep pushing for the whole day without making mistakes. Eleven seconds is a lot to catch up in the short stages that we have tomorrow, but the rally is still on and I am sure that he will keep pushing.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “I’m really, really happy about today. We had two stage wins, so we know the speed is there. I still have a little bit of margin: particularly this afternoon when it was quite rough in places I was a bit more careful not to break the car, as it has been important for me to have a clean day. The car is fast and I have started to find in myself the speed and confidence. All the elements are now there so we just need to bring it to the end. Tomorrow my approach will be to try and carry on in the same way. I want to be competitive and to do another clean day, and then of course in the Power Stage, I will try to attack and try to get some points. The idea is try to and keep building the confidence ready for Sardinia. END OF DAY THREE (SATURDAY): 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 3h16m30.0s 2 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +39.8s 3 Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +57.2s 4 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m01.9s 5 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m13.0s 6 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +3m14.1s 7

    Rally de Portugal – Day 1 – A tough Friday for Toyota in Portugal

    May 19, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team experienced a tough first full day on Rally Portugal, which proved to be day of attrition among all the teams. While Ott Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala were forced to stop during the morning after impacts damaged their cars, Esapekka Lappi made his way up the leaderboard during the afternoon to complete the day in fifth overall. Tänak started the day as the rally leader after winning Thursday night’s opening stage, but his event came to an early end on this morning’s first test when he hit several large rocks lying in the road in a fast left-hand corner. This damaged the radiator on his car, which in turn caused damage to the engine, so he will not restart the rally. Latvala came to a stop on the next stage with broken suspension after he hit a rock: the team was able to repair his car and he will restart under Rally 2 rules tomorrow. Lappi ended the morning loop in 11th place after struggling with a lack of grip but was much stronger in the afternoon after he improved the setup of his Toyota Yaris WRC during mid-day service. Even though he was suffering from a broken damper, he managed to gain several places as others hit trouble over extremely rough and rocky stages. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “On the first stage I was a bit too cautious, but on the second stage I started to push more. Then about five kilometres into the stage, in a left-right corner combination, there was a rock in the line, which was in my pace-notes. I went over the rock as intended but immediately the front-right suspension was damaged, and I had to stop. The team has worked hard to fix the car and we will be able to carry on tomorrow. I’m very motivated to continue. I really want to drive now, because I have a very good feeling with the car and I am enjoying driving it.” End of day two (Friday): 1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 1h37m30.7s 2 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +17.7s 3 Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +24.3s 4 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +34.4s 5 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +45.8s 6 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +48.3s 7 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m18.7s 8 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +2m27.3s 9 Gus Greensmith/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +6m57.1s 10 Lukasz Pieniazek/Przemyslaw Mazur (Skoda Fabia R5) +7m31.4s TBC Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +48m48.1s Retired Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) (Results as of 21:00 on Thursday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com) What’s next? Tomorrow consists of six stages, held in the Cabreira Mountains to the east of host city Porto. There are three stages each run twice either side of mid-day service, including the longest test of the rally: the 37.6 kilometres of Amarante. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally

    Rally de Portugal – SS1 – Toyota takes an early lead in Portugal

    May 19, 2018
    Rally Portugal kicked off this evening for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team with a 3.36-kilometre super special stage at the Lousada rallycross circuit, where Ott Tänak posted the fastest time to take an early lead of the event. The first competitive stage followed this morning’s shakedown, held over a 4.6-kilometre route. Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest overall, with both Esapekka Lappi and Tänak just one second slower. All three returned to service after their first set of runs, happy with the feeling of their cars and not needing to make any major changes to the setups established at the recent pre-event test. On stage one, Lappi and Latvala were 10th and 13th respectively, but both within four seconds of the lead. Quotes: Tom Fowler (Chief Engineer) “It was a good shakedown for us this morning. We had good pace from the car and no reliability issues, so everything went to plan. All three drivers did their shakedown runs all in one go before returning to service, with just some data checks. Our test before the rally went very well, with the drivers really confident with their setups, and they all reported that they had the same good feeling with the car in the shakedown. Rally Portugal is a slightly different rally to Argentina, but in terms of car setup it’s pretty close, so we’re confident that the good performance that we had in Argentina should carry through to here with just some very small changes. This rally should hopefully also be a little bit easier on the cars. Everybody is feeling confident and ready for the rally ahead.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “At the ceremonial start there were already a lot of people around, but then we came to the first stage and it is like a stadium full of people: it felt like a football match. There is just so much interest in rallying here in Portugal. I lost some time on the final hairpin: we will look at what happened but it doesn’t worry me. I’m feeling very positive at the start of the rally. I have a really good feeling with the car. On shakedown we did three runs in a row with no changes, which confirmed that we have the right setup, and we set the fastest time. I would really like this rally to be a turning point for my season: I really want to have a clean run and show the speed that I know I can do.” End of day one (Thursday): 1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2m34.3s 2 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.4s = Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.4s 4 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.4s = Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.4s 6 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.5s 7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1.6s = Dani Sordo/Carlos Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.6s 9 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.7s 10 Esapekka Lappi/Janne

    Rally de Portugal – Preview – TOYOTA out to continue its momentum in Portugal

    May 13, 2018
    The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will take on Rally Portugal from May 17-20 with the aim of continuing the momentum gathered with its recent victory in Argentina. Ott Tänak – who in South America claimed his first win since joining the team – Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala all head to Portugal confident in the progress that has been made with the development of the Toyota Yaris WRC, as demonstrated in Argentina. Rally Portugal is based in the north of the country, with the service park situated in Matosinhos near the city of Porto. The event takes place over technical roads with a soft and sandy gravel surface. Grip can be hard to find for the drivers running first on the road on the opening pass of each stage, while deep ruts and exposed rocks can add to the challenge on the second pass. The rally will get underway on Thursday evening with a ceremonial start at Guimarães Castle followed by a super special stage on the Lousada rallycross circuit. On Friday there will be two loops of three stages in the north – near the border with Spain – before two runs of a Porto street stage to close the day. Saturday’s action is focused on the Cabreira Mountains, before the rally comes to a conclusion on Sunday with five stages in the Fafe region, including the iconic Fafe test itself as the Power Stage. Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7) “Even though my rally ended early, there were positives to take from Argentina: the car felt really, really good and the speed was also good for me before my retirement. This gives me great confidence going to Rally Portugal. I believe our car will be strong again in Portugal. It is quite a similar rally to Argentina, with the main differences being that the surface is smoother and the roads are a bit more flowing. Therefore, I see no reason why the car shouldn’t work well in Portugal. We had two days of pre-event testing there last week and I am really happy with how that went. I had our test driver Juho Hänninen with me during the test: we were working together to fine-tune the car and I am really pleased with how the car feels.” What happened last year? Toyota finished last year’s Rally Portugal with all three of its cars inside the top 10, having entered a trio of drivers for the first time. Juho Hänninen came seventh, Jari-Matti Latvala finished in ninth place despite not feeling well, and Esapekka Lappi was 10th on his debut in a World Rally Car, also scoring points on his first Power Stage in the Yaris WRC. Lappi also made a spectacular jump over the famous Fafe jump, which was later named as the best action moment of the 2017 motorsport season by the FIA following a fan vote. Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team
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