Toyota boss plotting test of new WRC Yaris
Friday 24th September, 2021 - 12:45pm
Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala is seeking an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a next-generation World Rally Championship Yaris prior to its introduction in 2022.
Currently in his first season at the helm of the Toyota squad, Latvala wants to get a first-hand understanding of the new hybrid GR Yaris WRC Rally1.
The 36-year-old Finn is the most experienced driver in WRC history – finishing title runner-up on three occasions across a career spanning almost two decades – and was racing full-time just two years ago.
Moreover, Latvala was part of similar processes during previous regulation overhauls in 2011 and 2017.
“Of course, I would like to drive it,” said Latvala of the 2022 car.
“But I have to talk to Tom [Fowler, Toyota technical director], he’s the one in charge of this.
“When the winter comes, I will ask Tom that I can drive.
“I want to understand what the drivers are talking about.
“I feel I can’t bring the same value if I can’t understand what they are talking about.”
Toyota full-timers Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera, plus test driver Juho Hanninen, have all had a taste of the Rally1 machinery.
Toyota holds a one-two in the 2021 championship thanks to Sebastien Ogier and Evans, with three events remaining.
Next up is Rally Finland on October 1-3.