Month of July. Toyota Gazoo Racing displays the two chassis of the Toyota Yaris WRC to meet two tests are parallel in Portugal and Finland. The images of the World Rally Car of japanese origin and soul of Finnish do not cease to be repeated, and there is nothing to indicate that things can go wrong. However the reality is quite different. Tommi Mäkinen has confessed that he may not be ready the third Toyota Yaris WRC for its debut in the Monte carlo Rally next season. A setback that would only be the last of that drag on the team.
The confession of Tommi Mäkinen to the average Finnish ‘Yle’ can be considered the least of the headache of Toyota Gazoo Racing, especially if it is done a list of ‘ailments’ of the project. In the first place, the Toyota Yaris WRC seems to have major reliability problems, being of concern for a project of this scale and investment the discreet development of the engine, the cooling system and of the suspensions. These three sections have led to several breakdowns during the different sessions of test and also have an impact on the recent departure of Michael Zotos, and ex-Technical Director of the team.
Although the project of the Toyota Yaris WRC will have a duration of at least three years and TMR has built a base in Tallinn (Estonia) to improve the logistics of the project, what is certain is that no rider weight seems to be attracted by the proposal of Tommi Mäkinen, a feeling may increase with the possible absence of a third Yaris WRC in the first appointments of 2017. Today, Loeb, Ogier, Latvala, Solberg, Hirvonen, Meeke and Paddon are discarded and the unique options of the computer pass by finns Juho Hänninen, Esapekka Lappi and Jarkko Nikara.