Toyota Gazoo Racing leads the Rally of Portugal with renewed illusion. The team, led by Tommi Mäkinen will be in the running for the first time the third unit of your Toyota Yaris WRC since its arrival in the WRC, a car that will be driven by Esapekka Lappi. Although the experience of the young Finnish is much more limited than that of Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hänninen, the team will enjoy from this test a third opinion, at the time of developing your World Rally Car, who already gave a step forward quite remarkable between the rallies of Mexico and Argentina.
Jari-Matti Latvala is the spearhead of Toyota once more. The Finnish driver accumulates two podiums and a victory in the Rally of Portugal, a scenario in which you expect to harvest a good place to allow him to follow in bidding for the title: “What I learned during the first stage of the Rally of Argentina is very important. As a pilot you should try to be in the Top 5 for a good start position the following day. This will be my first goal in the Rally of Portugal”.
In this aspect, the finn has made it clear that the weather can be a determining factor in the evolution of the test: “If the weather accompanies you during the first day of competition, my starting position on the second day could help us, as it is easy, the roads may deteriorate. Before the rally, we tried some things in the car. We did tests with some shock absorbers and also experienced with the height of the car. These tests will serve so that we can offer our maximum potential in different conditions and difficult”.
Juho Hänninen has played in the Rally of Portugal on one occasion. It was in 2014 and ended in a positive eighth position. All in all, the finn knows that his actual experience in the test is zero, because it will be his first participation in the stages located to the north of the neighbouring country: “we Did some test with a good climate. It was quite hot and we were able to try some new things in the suspension and the differential. Although I have competed before in the Rally of Portugal, this is my first time on the stretches of the north of the country. I like these stages”.
In this aspect, Juho Hänninen recognized before facing the acknowledgments: “I Think that the stretches have a lot of factor cleaning, so I hope that my exit position can help me. In the background, the Rally of Portugal is a bit like Argentina, only that the surface is not so hard. Despite this, I think we can use many of the lessons we learned there to continue to progress with the Toyota Yaris WRC. The second pass in the special it may be a little difficult, so we have to be careful not to make mistakes”.
the Protagonist of his debut with the Yaris WRC, Esapekka Lappi stated: “I was able to ride before the Rally of Portugal, which has given me a good taste in your mouth. Obviously it’s exciting for me to dispute my first rally with the Toyota Yaris WRC. It is the opportunity that I have been waiting for all my life. All in all, this is a team effort and my role is to collect as much data as possible to develop the car. The most important thing is to finish and is never easy in an event as challenging as Portugal. From my own experience, I should complete all the stages, so we’re going to have quiet focus“.