February 8, 2017
TOYOTA SET FOR WRC SNOW AND ICE ACTION
Toyota will resume its World Rally Championship campaign this weekend on the high-speed, snow and ice-covered stages of Rally Sweden.
The Toyota Gazoo world rally team remains focused on developing its new Yaris WRC car following an unexpected podium place for driver Jari-Matti Latvala at the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo last month.
Latvala, a three-time winner in Sweden, and the team's second driver Juho Hänninen have prepared for the gruelling rally with five days of testing in central Finland.
Snow and ice are key to the spectacle and challenge of Rally Sweden, which has been a winter event since it became a founding round of the world championship in 1973.
Tyres are fitted with metal studs designed to punch through the ice to find grip while drivers use snow banks to keep on the road, "leaning" through corners where the level of snow permits.
Latvala, whose first rally victory was in Sweden in 2008, said: "I did some snow testing before Christmas with the Yaris WRC and last week as well, and even in that short time there have been some big improvements in the car and the whole team."
Almost two-thirds of the 331.74km competition route is new for this year.
The rally crosses the border into Norway and requires crews to demonstrate their jumping prowess on Colin's Crest, named in honour of the late British champion Colin McRae.