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.
“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