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Ott Tänak has clinched victory on Rally Finland (4 August), claiming his third win in four World Rally Championship outings and maintaining his lead in the driver’s title race. His success was also the third successive win for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team on their “home” event.
Jari-Matti Latvala also made it to the podium, in third place, but Ulsterman Kris Meeke was forced into retirement, having been part of a three-way Toyota battle for the lead.
Next stop for the team is Rallye Deutschland, taking place from 22 to 25 August. True to tradition, this is in effect three rallies in one, requiring the drivers to negotiate very different driving environments on each day: twisting roads through the Mosel vineyards, tough stages through the Baumholder military area and fast country lanes in the Saarland. The differing road surfaces and often changeable weather conditions make tyre choice critical.
After a very strong performance throughout the weekend, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team driver Ott Tänak was on course for his third straight victory on Rally Italia Sardegna when he was slowed in the very last stage by a steering issue. He ultimately finished in fifth position overall and ahead of his championship rivals on the gruelling gravel event, moving into the lead of the standings.
Tänak, his co-driver Martin Järveoja and the Toyota Yaris WRC had won every stage on Saturday as they moved into the rally lead and built a 25.9-second advantage that they took into Sunday's final four stages. He maintained that advantage through the opening three stages before the steering problem on the rally-ending Power Stage, causing him to lose over two minutes.
There is a seven-week gap before Rally Finland on August 1-4. The event is the fastest rally on the calendar, run over smooth gravel roads containing many jumps. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, which has its headquarters close to the service park in Jyväskylä, has won its ‘home' rally in both 2017 and 2018.
Ott Tänak claimed his second successive World Rally Championship win on Sunday, following up his success in Chile with a hard-earned victory on Rally Portugal.
The Estonian, co-driven by Martin Järveoja, led the event from Friday morning, eventually bringing his Yaris WRC home 16 seconds clear of his nearest challenger, Thierry Neuville. The result – including bonus points earned in the concluding Power Stage – moves Tänak to just two points off the top of the drivers’ title race.
Ott Tänak powered to a dominant victory in the Toyota Yaris WRC on the first Rally Chile on Sunday, giving a faultless display over three days of action to reinvigorate his championship campaign.
The Estonian driver led the rally from the second stage on the opening day and headed the leaderboard 23.1 seconds clear of his nearest rival. His Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team team-mates Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala finished in 10th and 11th places respectively, both having encountered setbacks during the all-new event.
All three Toyota Yaris WRC drivers were in top-10 points-scoring positions at the climax of Rally Argentina yesterday, with Kris Meeke just missing out on a podium place in the fifth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing team once again showed their pace, with both Ott Tänak and Meeke leading the field during Friday’s first full day of action. Tänak had already won the event-opening Super Special on Thursday, but it was Meeke who took the early initiative, winning the first stage of the day and leading the event into the lunchtime service.
In the afternoon, Tänak claimed the advantage with two stage wins before a driveshaft and a spin left him in third place over night. Meeke had a tougher time, ending the day in fourth, with Jari-Matti Latvala in eighth after losing time with a flat tyre and a spin.
All three Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team drivers came away from the Tour de Corse with points to their credit on Sunday. Success was hard-won in the fourth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, however, with each car suffering setbacks during the three-day event.
Ott Tänak was the highest-placed Yaris WRC pilot, finishing sixth overall and adding to his points tally with second place on Sunday’s points-scoring Power Stage behind team-mate Kris Meeke. Tänak had led the event on Friday and Saturday, but saw his hopes of a win dashed after losing two minutes for a tyre change.
Toyota Gazoo Racing has consolidated its position as leader of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) following an impressive second place by Ott Tänak at the Mexico Rally.
His third podium finish of the season in the gruelling Rally Mexico, which was defined by high heat and high altitude, was complemented by all three Toyota drivers finishing inside the top eight and taking nine stage victories between them.
Tänak, who had finished first at Rally Sweden and third Monte Carlo, was aided by the Yaris WRC competing solidly throughout the rally with its improved cooling package boosting its performance.
Kris Meeke came fifth in his first gravel rally for the team and took home a further four points by finishing second on the rally-ending Power Stage while Jari-Matti Latvala came eighth.
The powerful driving performance means that Tänak, tops the FIA WRC drivers table while Toyota Gazoo Racing leads the manufacturers table after three rallies.
Ott Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja put in a dominant performance to give Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team their first win of the 2019 FIA WRC season. The result also moves the young Estonian into the lead in the drivers’ championship standings.
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team made a strong start to their 2019 campaign with all three drivers finishing in the top six, led by Ott Tänak who mounted a brilliant fight-back to claim third place.
Team newcomer Kris Meeke made an impressive debut in the Yaris WRC, finishing sixth and winning the final, points-scoring Power Stage, while Jari-Matti Latvala completed the event in fifth.
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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Modified: 17 June 2019
Information correct at time of publication.