Podium for Latvala, points and fastest times for Lappi and Hänninen
"This was one of our strongest rallies without a doubt"
At the end of an incredibly challenging four days for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, it was an excellent result: second for Jari-Matti Latvala, narrowing the points gap to the championship leader, while Esapekka Lappi was fourth, having claimed a remarkable six fastest stage times (including the Power Stage): more than any other driver this weekend. Juho Hänninen led the rally on Friday and also won a stage, eventually finishing sixth.
The final day consisted of just four stages, ending with the Power Stage close to Alghero. Latvala and Lappi maintained the positions that they held the previous night, despite Latvala making two small mistakes. Lappi won the Power Stage on only his second rally in the Yaris WRC, adding to his points total. Hänninen had to cope with a steering problem, which had also affected him the day before, but still equalled the best WRC overall finish of his career.
Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“This was one of our strongest rallies without a doubt. The results we had here speak for themselves, so the only thing for me to say is many thanks to the people who make this all possible: drivers, co-drivers, engineers, mechanics and team. It’s because of them that we can achieve this in only the first half of our first season. But of course we have plenty more work still to do.”
“In the end, we were quite close and so I’m happy about this result but I’m a bit disappointed with myself after two mistakes I made today: on the second stage this morning I stalled the car when I was in second gear in the high ruts, then when the same stage was run again as the Power Stage this afternoon I couldn’t get the car turning around the junction. Anyway, all in all I’m happy for the team: it was a good result and a good performance.”
“There are many positives we can take away: we tested a lot of things and we gathered lots of useful information for the future. Unfortunately, today we had an intermittent steering issue – the same thing as yesterday – and that cost us a bit of time. But still we score some good points and my best result so far in the Yaris WRC. After the rally, it’s easy to regret the mistake I made on the last stage of Friday: that certainly penalised us in the start order on Saturday, so maybe things could have been different. It’s all part of the sport though and the main thing is we have a good team result with all three cars.”
“I’m happy with this rally, we learned a lot. Today was good, especially the Power Stage, as that’s a stage where a lot of the drivers are pushing very hard. For the first two stages today I was in full tyre saving mode: that’s why the times were not so good but in any case we had nothing to lose or gain. Then on the stage before the Power Stage I pushed a little bit harder to get a feel for the speed again, then on the Power Stage it was full attack, but we had no problems: clean with no mistakes. On this rally, the most important thing I learned was the driving style of the car on these slow and twisty roads; now I need to find out a bit more about how to drive the car when we get to fast roads.”
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