Toyota Gazoo Racing will play five of the Yaris WRC in a team match at home in Finland, as the World Rally Championship is expected to resume in early August.
The Toyota World Championship team, operating from Finnish Puuppola, home of team president Tommy Makinen near Jyväskylä, will have a very strong lineup in the match at home. In the expected restart period of the World Rally Championship from 6 to 9 August, team leader Tommy McKinnen will send five Yaris WRC Championships to the Finnish Gravel Grand Prix.
Hometown Toyota hasn’t been defeated since 2017 by Isabica Lappe and Uttanak’s victory, and it has to stay that way. It will also be the strongest Toyota team in Finland so far in 2020. In addition to the three regular drivers Sebastian Augier, Elvin Evans and Kali Rovanbera, Makenin also has Japanese Takamoto Katsuta on his order. The five-pack is complemented by Jari-Matti Latvala’s Yaris WRC, a three-time winner in Finland, who will appear as a special leader this year. The same Toyota team competed in the second round of this year in Sweden. While Latvala was forced to surrender early due to a blackout, Evans won at Torsby, with three Toyota Yaris WRCs taking the top four. Katsuta finished ninth in the fourth Yaris.
Team leader Tommy Makinen looks forward to the strongest presence of his team in his Finnish homeland. “It’s good to have five cars. It’s very interesting for our event on our home turf and for the fans,” McCainen said.
While Ogier won the event in 2013, second place to Evans three years ago is the strongest recent result for current Toyota factory drivers. League leaders Auger have struggled to find the same pace in Finland in recent years and have finished fifth in recent matches. Lapi is currently in M-Sport, and champion Tänak will be in the Hyundai i20 WRC in 2020.
There is no doubt that the presence of Latvala will raise the team’s hopes. Only Marcus Gronholm, Marco Allen, Tommy Makinen and Hanno Mykola have a stronger record than Latvala on the fastest roads of the season.