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Esapekka Lappi secured his first podium finish of the 2018 World Rally Championship on Sunday with a well-earned third place on Rally Italia Sardegna. His Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Ott Tänak also netted championship points in spite of damaging setbacks during the event.
The next event, the eighth round of the 2018 season, will be Rally Finland, running from 26 to 29 July. This is the fastest rally on the calendar, run over smooth gravel roads and featuring many jumps. It is the home event for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, who have their base close to the service park in Jyväsklä. Finnish driver Lappi scored a home victory on the event in 2017.
Esapekka Lappi survived a car-wrecking Rally Portugal to complete the sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship in a strong fifth position on Sunday. In spite of Ott Tänak, winner of the previous round in Argentina, being sidelined from the action on Friday, and Jari-Matti Latvala being forced out of top-10 contention, Toyota Gazoo Racing were able to claim points and reaffirm the winning potential of the Yaris WRC.
The next round of the FIA World Rally Championship is another event on soft and sandy gravel in the south of Europe: Rally Italia Sardegna (7 to 10 June). Based in Alghero in the north west of the island of Sardinia, the Italian round of the series features fast and narrow stages. Exposed rocks, as well as trees at the side of the road, can catch out the unwary, while temperatures can often be high.
Ott Tänak and the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team secured an impressive victory on Rally Argentina, the young Estonian claiming his first win for the team in only his fifth event at the wheel of the Yaris WRC.
Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja dominated the all-gravel rally, holding the lead from the end of the first full day of competition on Friday through to its climax on Sunday. En route to the winner’s podium, they won 10 stages and were able to control their advantage over the field through Sunday to finish more than 33 seconds clear of their nearest challengers.
Ott Tänak claimed his second podium finish of the season on the Tour de Corse, the French round of the FIA World Rally Championship, on Sunday. Team-mate Esapekka Lappi just missed out on a top-three finish for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team.
Lappi’s hopes were dashed by a puncture on the final day, but he recovered to win the Power Stage – his fourth stage win of the challenging all-asphalt event. The points from Rally France move Toyota up to third in the manufacturers’ championship, with Tänak also third in the drivers’ standings.
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team ended a gruelling Rally Mexico with a flourish yesterday, claiming a clean-sweep of wins in the final day’s three stages to net valuable championship points. The third round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship had taken a heavy toll, with all three Yaris WRC having to retire from the action at different points during the four days of action.
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team completed Rally Sweden with eight stage wins to their credit but frustratingly outside the podium places.
The team’s progress in the second round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship was hampered by early stage start positions, in effect making them pathfinders for cars lower down the order as they cleared newly fallen snow from the road surface.
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team enjoyed a superb start to their 2018 campaign with a double podium result on Rallye Monte-Carlo yesterday (28 January). Team newcomer Ott Tänak scored an excellent second place, leading home the Yaris WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala.
Tänak impressed throughout his first event in Toyota colours, quickly adapting to the car to set four fastest stage times and challenge for victory in typically demanding road and weather conditions. Lying in second place going into the four stages that made up the fourth and final day of the rally, he played a cautious game which duly delivered his podium result.
Twisty turns, unforgiving roads and durable hard tyres. Lowered suspension is a must-have for high-speed events such as Tour de Corse.
Rutted roads, rocky tracks and a range of tyre compounds. Raised gravel suspension is crucial for hot weather events such as Rally Mexico.
Frozen roads, snow banks and studded tyres. A loose-surface suspension setup is essential for sub-zero events such as Rally Sweden.
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Led by four-time world champion, Tommi Mäkinen, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is primed and ready to push the limits in 2018.
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