All three TOYOTA GAZOO Racing drivers have made it through a challenging first full day of Wales Rally GB without any incidents. Jari-Matti Latvala holds fifth place overall and still has the podium positions within his sight with two days of rallying remaining. Juho Hänninen occupies 10th place, and Esapekka Lappi is only just behind.
Unusually on Rally GB, the weather was dry throughout the day, but after overnight rain all of the drivers found the grip levels difficult to predict in the muddy forests of mid Wales. Adding to the difficulty was the lack of any mid-day service halt, with only a tyre fitting zone at lunchtime. Having had the opportunity to work with the engineers to tweak the setup of their cars tonight, all three drivers will look to improve their positions tomorrow.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“The conditions have been difficult for everybody today. There was heavy rain overnight and then the roads started to dry, which actually made the situation worse as the moisture came to the top of the road and the surface became slippery. In the morning I was struggling with understeer and didn’t have the confidence to push, but we changed some things at the regroup and the car definitely felt better, even though were still struggling a bit with the traction. To be in fifth position is not so bad, but we have been discussing things that we can do to improve for tomorrow.”
END OF DAY 2(FRIDAY):
1 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h09m20.9s
2 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +24.6s
3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +26.8s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +37.1s
5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +41.9s
6 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC): +42.0s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +52.0s
8 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m13.9s
9 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m22.9s
10 Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m43.5s
11 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m50.0s
(Results as of 21:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visitwww.wrc.com)
Tomorrow’s schedule includes a 1.8-kilometre stage as part of Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. Newly sponsored by Toyota GB this year, this is a full day of entertainment designed to appeal to new rally fans and those with children. The stage itself – the only one to be held in England – is a throwback to the stately home tests that used to be common on the British round of the WRC, taking place on asphalt roads in the castle grounds. Spectators will have the opportunity to get autographs from top drivers and to enjoy a display of iconic rally cars from the past, including classic Toyotas.
The crews face a mammoth day tomorrow with nine stages in total and 16 hours between the start and finish of the day. The first car will leave service at 06:25 in the morning bound for a loop of four stages, containing the first runs of Aberhirnant, Dyfnant, Garthienog, Dyfi. The latter two stages will then be repeated, followed by the Cholmondeley test, before a return to service. Finally, Aberhirnant and Dyfnant will be repeated in darkness, with the first car not back at service until 22:16.
Press release TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team