Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“Rallye Monte-Carlo is always an exciting event at the start of a new season, and it should be especially interesting this year with many drivers in different cars, and in our case a completely new line-up. It is a rally that we are yet to win as a team, but we have finished on the podium every time and our performance there has been strong. Sébastien’s record on this event is brilliant and he has won it in many different cars, so I am sure that he will be in the fight again even though he will still be getting to know our car. I think it will be similar for Elfyn, who has shown good speed on the Monte before. For Kalle, on the other hand, there will be absolutely no pressure, because this is a really hard rally to make your debut on and one where you need to have experience. But I am confident that as a team we can get a strong result to begin our challenge for this year’s championship.”
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 17)
“I’m excited to start my first rally in the Toyota Yaris WRC. Every car has different characteristics and it takes some kilometres to learn about them, but so far it has been good in the tests. We want to fight for a seventh title this year, and I believe we can have a good chance with this car. Rallye Monte-Carlo is an event with special emotions for me. I remember at the end of the 1990s, coming to spectate and Tommi was winning a lot – he was the first idol I had in rallying. Myself and Julien obviously have a very strong record too, and every year there is more and more pressure to try and continue that. It’s always a big challenge and one that I definitely enjoy.”
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“I’m looking forward to Rallye Monte-Carlo and my first event with Toyota. This is the first time in my WRC career that I’ve changed teams, but everybody’s been very welcoming and I’ve got a good feeling in the car, so I’m excited about the season ahead. My first time driving the Yaris WRC was in our test for the Monte in December, and quite quickly I was able to get a nice feeling and some good confidence. On this event the challenge is always the range of conditions you can possibly face. When you’re setting up the car, you need something that gives you confidence and I think we’ve got some good options with that in mind.”
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“Rallye Monte-Carlo will be a special event for me. It’s a big step up from an R5 car, with a lot more power and downforce, but so far I’ve found the Yaris WRC to be quite easy to drive in the tests. Still, I have a lot to learn and I think it will take a few rallies to really adapt to the car and how everything works. I will need to think differently at the beginning of the season, and I hope that I will have the patience for this. I think Monte-Carlo is not the easiest place to start with a new car and a new team. The weather is changing all the time and you cannot always have the right tyre choice for the conditions. It will be a big challenge for us, but hopefully we can make it through.”
What happened last year?
Ott Tänak led for Toyota early on, and after stopping to change a wheel he produced a superb fightback to finish third. Jari-Matti Latvala was fifth while Kris Meeke was sixth and won the Power Stage in his first rally with the team: one of nine fastest times set by the Toyota Yaris WRC across the 16 stages.
Press Kit and Event Pictures will be uploaded here
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