The Rally Sweden is a scene of fond memories for Jari-Matti Latvala. The finn won in this scenario in 2012 and 2014, that dream of a win with the new Toyota Yaris WRC is not at all far-fetched. All in all, the formation directed by Tommi Mäkinen Racing has the feet on the ground and after making the relevant changes in the anchoring system of the rear suspension of the Toyota Yaris WRC, the team expects to be competitive and to be able to fight as it did in the Monte carlo Rally, where Latvala got up to the podium.
Jari-Matti Latvala has managed to get two wins and a podium in the last six editions of the Rally of Sweden, although their last two appearances in this test ended up not as the Finnish would have desired: “I have very good memories of the Rally Sweden, as it was the first rally that I won in 2008. Now the circumstances are very different. Before Christmas I did some tests in snow with the Yaris WRC, and last week also. Even in that short span of time there have been some important improvements in the car and in the team as a whole, which is what we look for mainly this year”.
all in all, Jari-Matti Latvala does not hide that the podium harvested in the French Alps was a boost of energy, but that will be hard to repeat: “The result of Monte carlo was a pleasant surprise, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the same thing in Sweden. We have to remember that this is an entirely new computer, with a new project. At the moment it seems that the temperature in Sweden is quite high, so that we might find similar conditions to those of previous years, which are never easy. I Hope soon to reach the negative temperatures, because then the show will be more attractive to all”.
For his part, Juho Hänninen, now in its seventh participation in the Rally of Sweden, where it has a sixth post -harvested in 2013 with M-Sport – like best result: “I have tested the car on snow three days, with the aim of providing them with the best setting. In Monte carlo I had a great setup from the first moment of the rally, and in fact I didn’t have to modify it a lot. That was key to having more confidence in the car. In Monte carlo I learned a lot, but Sweden is totally different, so there’s that to start again from scratch. Will also depend a lot on the conditions, of course”.
In this aspect, Toyota has left no aspect to chance: “During the tests we also tried to find roads in a worse state, to be able to simulate what we could find in the rally and see how she reacted to the car by jumping the studs on the tires. I look forward to the weekend, because Sweden is one of the rallies in which I participated, and since then the choice of tires is easier than in Monte carlo. However, what we are proposing with the same attitude, step-by-step, but we have not had much time to prepare”.