All three Yaris WRCs in top 10 in Portugal
Power Stage points for Lappi on debut
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has finished one of the most demanding rallies of the year with all three cars in the top 10, after entering a trio of drivers for the first time. Making his debut was Esapekka Lappi, who claimed two points by setting fourth-fastest time on the Power Stage. Juho Hänninen was seventh, Jari-Matti Latvala was ninth despite not feeling well, and Lappi was 10th.
The final day of Rally Portugal consisted of four stages run consecutively without service, including two passes on the famous Fafe stage. After encountering varied issues over the previous two days, the Toyota drivers concentrated on bringing all three cars safely home to consolidate the team’s third spot in the manufacturers’ standings. An unexpected bonus was Lappi’s driver points on the Power Stage.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This was another very difficult rally from which we will learn a lot from the future. I’m particularly happy about the way it finished, with Esapekka doing a fantastic job to score three driver points on his debut. The way that he quickly came up to speed was very impressive and I am sure he has a strong future. But I would like to thank all of our drivers, co-drivers and team. Juho did a very solid job to score more driver points and without a couple of small issues he could have been even higher. He proved again how important he is to our programme. We were actually very worried about Jari-Matti’s physical condition yesterday, but he overcame that to finish the rally strongly. The team has put into place everything we have learned so far very effectively. Now we will continue working in this way.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Physically, this is the hardest rally I have ever done in my career. I was feeling terrible yesterday, but I spent the night in hospital to rehydrate and as a result I felt a lot better today and we were able to finish in the points, which I am very happy about. There’s no test before Sardinia, so I have a chance to rest properly – I think I could sleep now for the next two days! – and come back even stronger for the next rally.”
Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“I’m happy to end another rally in a points-scoring place, especially because we didn’t have much experience here and conditions were quite tricky, although not quite as bad as Argentina. The most important thing is that we learned a lot and generally had a clean run: this helps the confidence. Today we were trying a couple of different things for the future, and I had a lot of fun on the Fafe stage: the crowds were amazing and it was a fantastic experience, so thank you to them as well.”
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)
“To be honest, before the rally I was hoping that we could score points in the overall classification, but I would never have dreamed of it happening on the Power Stage. So in many ways, this rally didn’t exactly go as I expected, but I’m happy: I think we found the right speed, which is very important. On the first two stages today I tried to save the tyres, then on the two final ones I could push harder. My landing after the jump on the Fafe Power Stage was interesting – but at least I could demonstrate how tough the suspension on the Yaris WRC is!”
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