June 23, 2017

TOYOTA ACCELERATES TOWARDS SUPER-FAST RALLY POLAND

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Toyota builds momentum in the World Rally Championship (driver: Latvala)
* Some of the quickest roads on the world rally calendar
* Conditions to test handling and aerodynamics
* Three Yaris WRC cars in top six at previous rally


Toyota is looking to build on its momentum in the World Rally Championship when three Yaris WRC cars tackle the super-quick sandy roads of the 74th Rally Poland next week (starts June 29).

Buoyed by having all three entries finish in the top six in tough conditions in the last round in Sardinia, Toyota Gazoo Racing has tested in Estonia using similar roads to those that will be seen in Poland.

Challenges along the 326.64km of competitive driving in Poland include tall grass that restricts visibility on many corner approaches, sometimes hiding rocks that could damage cars.

Toyota, on its return to the WRC this season, has again entered the Finnish trio of Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hänninen and Esapekka Lappi.

Latvala finished second in Sardinia and sits fourth in the title race, while Lappi won multiple stages including the final Power stage for bonus points. Toyota is third on the manufacturers' championship.

Team principal Tommi Mäkinen compared Poland, as one of the fastest gravel events on the world rally calendar, with the following round in his Finland home.

"It should be a good test for the aerodynamics of our car at high speed, which is an area where we have normally been working well," he said.

Latvala pointed to progress with the handling of the Yaris WRC during the season and in Estonia.

"We made some steps forward with the dampers and I was particularly impressed by the stability of the car," he said.

"With a lot of the car's development having taken place on the rapid roads of Finland, I think the Yaris WRC should be well suited to the very fast roads in Poland, too."

Toyota motorsport: In 2017, Toyota marks the 60th anniversary of its first international motorsport entry (and the first by a Japanese car manufacturer), when it contested the 1957 Round Australia Trial. This is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship (WRC), World Endurance Championship (WEC) which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar Rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category.