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Three Toyota Yaris WRCs in Portugal top 10

Tuesday 23rd May, 2017 - 4:15pm

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  • Jari Matti Latvala maintains third place in driver championship standings
  • Esapekka Lappi scores points on WRC debut
  • Three car line-up to take on next round, Rally Italia

Toyota Gazoo Racing has finished one of the most demanding events on the World Rally Championship calendar with all three cars in the top 10.

It was the first time the team had entered three drivers with Juho Hänninen taking seventh, Jari-Matti Latvala ninth and Esapekka Lappi 10th.

Latvala holds third place in the driver’s championship after a tough rally that saw him leading early on Friday before rolling his car in tricky conditions and dropping to 13th.

He fought back with several top-three stage finishes despite severe dehydration from an upset stomach that landed him in hospital on Saturday night.

Reigning WRC2 title-holder Lappi scored three points on his Yaris WRC debut, which included an impressive 4th in the final power stage.

Teammate Juho Hänninen finished top of the trio with a generally clean run that boosted his confidence and helped Toyota retain third place in the manufacturer’s championship.

Team principal Tommi Mäkinen said the Toyota drivers and crew continued to learn a lot about the Yaris WRC in its debut season.

“Juho did a very solid job to score more driver points and without a couple of small issues he could have been even higher,” he said.

“We were actually very worried about Jari-Matti’s physical condition yesterday, but he overcame that to finish the rally strongly.”

The next WRC round is June 8-11 in Italy where Toyota will again campaign three cars in the soft and sandy gravel and likely high temperatures of Rally Italia Sardegna.

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