Toyota Gazoo Racing just off provisional podium in first full day of competition

"It’s been a very positive day for both drivers"

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By Olivier Ferret

20 January 2017 - 22:27
Toyota Gazoo Racing just off provisional

The Toyota Yaris WRC faced its first full day of action, which was the longest competitive day of the Rallye Monte-Carlo with six stages totalling 160.80 kilometres. Jari-Matti Latvala finishes the day just one place off the provisional podium, in fourth overall. After setting an extremely encouraging pace in the morning, Juho Hänninen slid off the road on the final stage before midday service. He will rejoin the rally tomorrow.

The Toyota drivers both showed the pace to be in the top five stage times today, with Jari-Matti confirming the potential by finishing in fourth place overall tonight despite a couple of small problems that meant he was not running with the ideal set-up. Conditions were icy and snowy from start to finish, with the drivers using just studded tyres throughout both loops of stages to find grip on the slippery and changeable asphalt surfaces.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “It’s been a very positive day for both drivers. Maybe not perfect: Jari-Matti had a small problem that was distracting him a bit and we also had an issue in the morning that cost time during first service, which meant that we could not put Jari-Matti onto the ideal set-up. Juho was very fast today but unlucky to slide off: I know from my time as a driver how easily this can happen here. Now we have a good point of reference to the other teams, and I think it is encouraging.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)

”This was a very important day for us and we made the most of it. We had a couple of minor problems but we are still here at the end of the day and I am very happy with our progress. Conditions were extremely difficult, so just to stay on the road was a good achievement. But the car is improving all the time.”

Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)

”In a downhill braking area on SS5 we just made a small mistake and lost the car on the ice, which put the car into a tree and damaged the suspension. Luckily the damage is not big and we will be able to start again tomorrow: thank you to our mechanics for a great job. That will be another very tricky day, so it will be important to make the right tyre choice in particular.”

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