Rallye Monte-Carlo, one of the most demanding rallies in the world with its ever-changing weather conditions; also serves as the inaugural stage of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). Last year, Jari-Matti Latvala came in second at Monte-Carlo in his first WRC when TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team (TGR WRT) made a comeback after an 18 year absence.
After facing a full season of challenges in the Yaris WRC, the TGR WRT still managed to secure overall rally wins in Sweden and Finland, proved to be competitive in their returning season to the modern WRC era. It was a full season used to collect important data and experiences for the team to better meet the demands and contest for the Championship.
After Rally Australia, the team took a much needed break, but not for long. They were soon back to improving the YARIS WRC ahead of the 2018 season and have managed to achieve what they believe is a championship-contending car, that is able to meet the team’s expectations and to provide a more consistent performance throughout the season-long rallies.
Joining the TGR WRT this year is Ott Tänak. The Estonian who took the podium twice in 2017 stated that he was keen on joining TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT even before the season ended.
Speaking to WRC in an interview, he mentioned: “There is a lot of excitement ahead of my first rally for Toyota. I am just getting used to the team but already I feel very welcome and the preparation has been going really well”.
With Tänak on the team alongside Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi, TGR WRT’s driver line-up is looking stronger for all challenges in coming 2018 season. Still at the helm of Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen, a 4-time WRC Champion and 4-time Rallye Monte-Carlo winner himself, mentioned that the goal of the WRT in this season is to be more consistent on the stages so that the team can better contest for the Championship.
After the first season last year, all 3 drivers on the team are looking to replicate the Team Principal’s results. Boasting 3 of the most aggressive drivers to grace the stages of the WRC, they look to challenge the World, and each other, for the titles of Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship at the end of the season!
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