Puuppola, Finland,

Rally Finland: Day 2

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team first and second in Finland

Tonight marks a historic occasion for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, with the Yaris WRC holding first and second places overnight for the first time in its history. Not only that, but the car set nine fastest stage times today (out of 12 stages) and was first and second on a stage six times.

The team’s newest driver, Esapekka Lappi, leads overnight with a small margin over his experienced team mate (and three-time Rally Finland winner) Jari-Matti Latvala. Juho Hänninen is not far behind them in fifth overall: ensuring that there are three examples of the Yaris WRC in the top five places after 148.02 competitive kilometres so far. Unlike many other drivers, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing trio did not encounter any problems today – and the firm aim is to continue in this way tomorrow.



Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)

“It has been an absolutely brilliant day for the team. I was expecting a very tough fight with the other teams. Of course we have some advantage to being at home but the speed from all of our drivers has been amazing. They have all done a great job and Esapekka in particular to be leading. They are enjoying driving the car and feel really confident. I have no concerns about them fighting each other, I will let them do their job.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)

“Of course, Esapekka was always going to be fast, but I didn’t think he was going to be such a hurricane and that we would be the top two in this position after the first full day. The car is working well; I’m very happy with the balance and generally my driving has been good. When you have no other issues and a good car, you can just focus on the driving. There’s a little bit of a home advantage I think, as our car has been developed in Finland on roads like these. My confidence is high, but at the same time I’m trying to avoid taking any big risks.”

Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)

“The general feeling here has been really good. The car has been working well. It is handling really well even on the high-speed sections and the jumps. This morning I wasn’t fully confident because the grip was changing, but things improved this afternoon and the times were good. Then I hit a rock and damaged the suspension. We were lucky to be able to finish the day without losing too much time. Tomorrow we will continue from where we left off before.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)

“I could never have imagined I would be leading Rally Finland. Just competing here in a World Rally Car has been a dream I have had since I was a small boy. That I am leading is hard to comprehend. But it’s been a really clean run so far with no mistakes and the car has been perfect. I’ve given it my all. I won’t force myself to fight against Jari-Matti if it means I will take too many risks. It feels to special to be leading this rally, the spectators are amazing, you just can't feel that anywhere else.”


End of Day 2 (Friday):

1 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) 1h11m36.4s

2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4.4s

3 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +19s

4 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +33s

5 Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +39.1s

6 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45s

7 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +45.1s

8 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +58s

9 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +1m07.6s

10 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m50.2s

(Results as of 22:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)



The recent Autoglym Rally uses stages similar to those of Rally Finland – so many competitors used it as a practice event for Rally Finland. Among them was TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team sporting director Jarmo Lehtinen, alongside his former driver Mikko Hirvonen. They won the historic class and finished 11th overall, but it was more for fun than serious preparation. “We’ve got rallying running through our veins, so it was fantastic to get out and drive again,” said Lehtinen.


What’s next?

The second full day of the rally is just as punishing as the first, with eight stages and another long day behind the wheel. The first car will be in service at 07:20 tomorrow morning and then return to parc ferme more than 12 hours later. Two loops of four stages comprise the competitive action, with one 30-minute service halt in between at 13:27, back in Jyvaskyla. Tomorrow’s route also contains the most famous stage of the whole rally, Ouninpohja, which is known for some spectacular jumps.



TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and its technology partner, Microsoft, will provide the “EchoCam” service tomorrow, at spectator area F on SS16 (Ouninpohja 1). EchoCam is an entirely new service that connects fans' photos of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Yaris WRC (taken from a dedicated “EchoCam Photo Booth”) with a video shot from the car’s point of view, by using the Microsoft Azure cloud service. For further information, please visit the EchoCam website from your smartphone. EchoCam website in English and Finnish (please access from your smartphone): http://tgr-echocam.com


Press release

URL: http://toyotagazooracing.com/release/2017/wrc/rd09-day2.html


Pictures will be uploaded here during the event

URL: https://www.tgrwrt.com/ ( ID and Password needed)


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