Toyota has secured its first World Rally Championship Manufacturers title in nearly twenty years with a win at the final round in Australia.
Having last won the constructors’ championship in 1999, Toyota clinched the title with a rally victory for Jari-Matti Latvala and a fourth place from Esapekka Lappi.
Co-driven by Miikka Anttila, Latvala avoided mistakes in slippery conditions that costed leading Toyota driver Ott Tänak, who had to retire on the penultimate stage. Powered by his 1.6 turbo-charged Yaris WRC, Latvala took three stage wins on the final day to clinch victory by 32.5 seconds - the team's fifth win of 2018.
Tänak, Latvala and Lappi finished the season third, fourth and fifth respectively in the drivers’ standings, with Tänak fighting for the drivers' title until the final day in Australia.
Team Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda congratulated Latvala and Anttila on their win, pointing out that it had been a “tricky” season for the team.
He added: “I feel so grateful, as team chairman, that we could get such a great result in the second year of our challenge after returning to the WRC following 18 years away.”
Team principal Tommi Mäkinen said: “We started this project three-and-a-half years ago and we have developed much faster than we imagined. In the second half of this season we were able to find a lot of improvements with the car. This is the result of the huge effort from everybody in the team, and I am sure this success will just further motivate us all to continue improving in 2019.”