Toyota at the World Rally Championship

Pushing the limits

Toyota Gazoo Racing achieve third place in the manufacturers’ title race on its debut, helped by notable victories in Sweden for Latvala and Finland for Lappi.

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in different rallying conditions involving snow and dust
About the World Rally Championships (WRC)

Toyota’s long history of racing and rallying was recently brought together under the name of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, heralding a new generation of performance cars in all racing activities.

The FIA World Rally Championship is an epic motorsport adventure taking drivers and their production-based cars through challenging terrain in 14 rallies across 14 countries.

Under WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen, around 90 team members helped fine tune the Yaris WRC. With their support, after 17 years away, Toyota GAZOO Racing finished in third place in the manufacturers’ title race.

The mighty Yaris WRC - Toyota's key to success

Under the hood

Designed for endurance and speed, the highly tuned Yaris WRC packs a mighty punch, setting adrenalin pumping as it competes in the World Rally Championship in 2017.

Underneath the Yaris’ white, red and black body sits a responsive 1.8-litre engine producing over 210 DIN hp, with a best-in-class 0-100km/h acceleration time.

With dynamic handling, rally-car-looks and race team-honed performance, the sensational Yaris crowns a dynamic new range. It also helped inspire the new Toyota Yaris GRMN (below), the highly-tuned hot hatchback with rally credentials that's fit for the road. The new Yaris GRMN will be the hottest car on sale in the UK in early 2018.

Thrilling performance closes the season for Toyota Yaris in Australia

Event 13 - Australia

Jari-Matti Latvala put in a fast-charging performance to challenge for victory on the closing day of Rally Australia yesterday (Sunday). The Finn came within 10 seconds of the lead in the final round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship, only for his hopes to be dashed with an off in the final Power Stage.

It remained for Esapekka Lappi to claim more points for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team with a sixth place finish and third in the Power Stage.

In what was the first full year of competition for Toyota since returning to the championship after a break of 18 years, Latvala finished fourth in the drivers’ championship. Toyota Gazoo Racing achieved third place in the manufacturers’ title race on its debut, helped by notable victories in Sweden for Latvala and Finland for Lappi.

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for drivers after round 13:
1 Sebastien Ogier 232
2 Thierry Neuville 208
3 Ott Tänak 191
4 Jari-Matti Latvala 136
5 Elfyn Evans 128
6 Dani Sordo 95
7 Kris Meeke 77
8 Hayden Paddon 74
9 Juho Hänninen 71
10 Craig Breen 64
11 Esapekka Lappi 62

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for manufacturers after round 13:
1 M-Sport World Rally Team 428
2 Hyundai Motorsport 345
4 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 218

Points haul for Wales Rally GB

Event 12 - Great Britain

Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi were both in the points at the conclusion of a gruelling Wales Rally GB on Sunday, the penultimate round of this year’s World Rally Championship.

Latvala brought his Yaris WRC home in fifth place and netted further points by posting third-fastest time on the Power Stage which closed the event. Lappi charged back into the top 10 with strong times during the final two days, finishing ninth overall. The third Toyota of Juha Hänninen had to be withdrawn after it clipped a hay bale, damaging the car’s suspension beyond immediate repair.

After a successful pre-event shakedown and a trouble-free short spectator stage on Thursday evening, the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team were in confident mood for Friday’s first full day of action. Heavy overnight rain turned the gravel forest routes to mud, however, making grip levels hard to gauge. The day ended with Latvala in fifth and Hanninen 10th, just ahead of Lappi.

Hänninen clinches fourth in Spain

Event 11 - Spain

Juho Hänninen came through a punishing Rally de España to claim a fourth place finish for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the 11th round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.

The Finn’s success came after both his team-mates were forced into retirement on the mixed-surface event. The Yaris WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala was sidelined after a heavy impact on Friday damaged the car’s lubrication system, while Esapekka Lappi dropped out from sixth place on the final day following a collision with a barrier.

Germany ends on a high for Toyota Gazoo Racing

Event 10 - Germany

Toyota Gazoo Racing endured the highs and lows of motorsport in a Rally Germany that lived up to its formidable reputation. By the climax of the all-asphalt event yesterday (20 August), the three Yaris WRC drivers had five stage wins to their credit, with Juho Hänninen finishing in fourth place overall.

The team put in a powerful performance on the final day, with stage wins for Hänninen and Lappi, the latter going on to claim second place in the final Power Stage, just two tenths of a second ahead of teammate Latvala.

Team Principal Tommi Makinen was pleased with the overall performance on what was only the Yaris WRC’s second asphalt event. He said: “We are confident now that the performance on Tarmac is also at a good level. It’s looking good now for the future. Now we will go to Spain where we again should improve our performance.”

Toyota Yaris WRC makes history on home ground

Event 9 - Finland

Toyota Gazoo World Rally Team stormed to an amazing result on Rally Finland with Esapekka Lappi claiming a debut championship victory and Juho Hänninen battling to third place. The success was all the sweeter for being on home ground for both the drivers, and the team.

The Yaris WRC was dominant throughout, leading for 22 of the rally’s 25 stages, posting 18 stage wins of which 13 were one-two finishes and one a memorable one-two-three Toyota lock-out.

For Lappi, partnered by co-driver Janne Ferm, it was a dream finish “I’m not normally an emotional person, but this is amazing. I could never have imagined that we could get a result like this, so it’s a very big surprise. I have to say a big thank you to the team because they have built such a great car in a very short time.”

Rally Finland pre-race videos

In the lead up to the highly anticipated Rally Finland from 27-30 July, which will see a number of the Gazoo WRC team competing on their home turf, we have paid a visit to the country for some interesting test drive experiences and to discover the Finnish practice known as 'yumping'.

Rally Poland yields points for Latvala and Hanninen

Event 8 - Poland

Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team salvaged valuable points from a tough Rally Poland, enduring treacherous, wet and slippery conditions and mechanical setbacks.

The eighth round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship concluded on Sunday with Jari-Matti Latvala netting five points for an emphatic win on the Power Stage and Juho Hanninen clinching 10th place overall. The result moves Latvala up to third in the drivers’ title race.

Latvala takes second at Rally Italia Sardegna

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in dusty conditions
Event 7 - Italy

Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala closed the gap on his World Rally Championship rivals with a hard-fought second place at Rally Italia Sardegna.

The seventh round of this year’s championship proved a gruelling test for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, but they produced an emphatic performance that saw all three drivers in the points, with a clutch of fastest stage times pointing to successful progress in development of the Yaris WRC.

All three drivers post points at gruelling Rally de Portugal

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in different rallying conditions involving dust
Event 6 - Portugal

All three Toyota drivers came through their toughest test yet to post points-scoring results on Rally Portugal, the sixth round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship yesterday.

Juho Hänninen was seventh, Jari-Matti Latvala ninth and Esapekka Lappi, making his debut with the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, finished 10th, also netting two points with fourth fastest time in the event’s power stage in the Yaris WRC.

Points on the board at super tough Rally Argentina

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in different rallying conditions involving water and dust
Event 5 - Argentina

After four days of action, Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila finished fifth, two places ahead of team-mates of Juho Hänninen and Kaj Lindström.

Latvala, who remains in second place in the WRC drivers’ championship, said: “Our car is very tough, we can say that for sure, and we certainly improved the performance compared to the last gravel round in Mexico.

“The most important thing was that we kept our consistent run of points that we’ve had since Monte-Carlo, so the championship stays open. It’s incredible, but in all my career I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to the front after just five rallies. Now I’m looking forward to the next test and the next rally, so that we can keep on making the car better.”

Fourth at Tour de Corse

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car on asphalt roads
Event 4 - France

The Tour de Corse is known as the rally of 10,000 corners, battled out entirely on asphalt roads, the first of its kind for the season. Jari-Matti Latvala ended the first day in sixth position while his team mate Juho Hänninen had a tougher start after a collision with a bridge parapet putting him out of action for the first stage.

Some adjustments to the Yaris WRC setup resulted in better performance on day 2 with both drivers posting top-three stage times. Unfortunately Hänninen only reached the first stage of the final day after sliding off the road but Latvala brought fourth home for the Gazoo team.

Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen (below) praised the performance of both team and drivers: “Both drivers said that the car felt much better after some changes we made on Saturday, although it was already promising on the first day. So this result is really a team effort, with the car being improved over the three days thanks to everyone’s hard work and collaboration.

Toyota doubles up in Mexico

Yaris WRC side on shot of red, white and black rally car skidding round corner with dust billowing out the back
Event 3 - Mexico

After four days of the toughest action so far, both Yaris crews secured a points finish in the top 10 with high temperatures and altitude testing the new 1.6-litre, 380bhp Yaris.

Thousands of fans turned out in Mexico City to see Juho Hänninen come out on top on Thursday evening whilst Jari-Matti Latvala was 4th quickest on the Power Stage to bring home more valuable points.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team continues to hold 2nd place in the manufacturers’ standings.

Success in the snow for Toyota

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in snowy conditions
Event 2 - Sweden

Toyota won the gruelling snow-covered Rally Sweden, a feat achieved on only the second event for the all-new Yaris WRC.

Jari-Matti Latvala took the lead on Saturday’s super special stage and started day three with just a 3.8 second advantage. With victory in his sights, Latvala topped all of Sunday’s three stages to seal an emotional win and head the drivers’ standings.

In the second car, Juho Hänninen had a trouble-free final day gaining more points and taking TOYOTA GAZOO Racing into second place in the manufacturers’ championship.

Toyota off to a great start in Monte-Carlo

Yaris WRC red, white and black rally car in different rallying conditions involving snow and dust
Event 1 - Monte-Carlo

Jari-Matti Latvala surpassed all expectations, negotiating ice and snow, to come home with second place for Toyota Gazoo Racing's debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo.

Alongside co-driver Miikka Anttila, the Finnish pair delivered a solid performance at one of rallying's toughest stages. The podium means Latvala is second in the drivers' championship, a fact that he himself clearly did not expect to hear, commenting: "If you had told me before the start of the rally that this is where we would finish, I would never have believed it. In fact, this equals my best-ever result here."

In the team's second car Juho Hänninen and Kaj Lindström (also from Finland) recovered from an unlucky first day on the ice to come home in 16th, meaning Toyota Gazoo Racing is in second place in the teams’ championship after the opening round of the 2017 season.

Discover Toyota’s journey from rally to road

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