Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal): “We will go to Corsica feeling optimistic about our chances, particularly after our strong performance there last year when we were fastest on half of the stages. It is a very challenging rally, as I found out many times when I was driving, but our drivers have all shown they can be fast there. With so many corners and really long stages, you need to have full confidence in the car, otherwise you can lose a lot of time. That is why it is very important to get the setup right. This year, that will be especially true on Friday because there isn’t a proper service in the middle of the day to make big changes. But I know that our team has been preparing as well as possible and hopefully we can have another strong weekend.”
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8): “I am looking forward to Corsica. Being first on the road there as championship leader should be a good thing, as this is the best place to be on asphalt where the road is cleanest. In the past, Corsica was probably the rally on which I struggled the most, but we had good pace last year on our first time there in the Toyota Yaris WRC. We know that we have a really strong package now on asphalt, so I believe that we can have a good performance. I’m sure that some of our rivals will be very fast too, but the aim is to continue our positive start to the season and keep scoring as many points as possible.”
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10): “Corsica is a rally I always look forward to. The asphalt is abrasive so provides good grip, and the road is usually pretty clean. The island itself is very beautiful too. I like the changes to the route this year. A couple of the stages were used when I won the rally in 2015, so I have good memories of those. I had a good test earlier this week: We did 200 kilometres and tried a lot of things, not only for this rally but also development for the future. On Rallye Monte Carlo I struggled with understeer, so we worked on that and improved the turning, as well as the braking, and I’m feeling more confident with the car. Now I’ve got a couple of days of relaxing at home, and feeling ready for the recce to start on Monday”.
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5): “I’ve had good times in Corsica in recent years: My speed’s always been there. It’s always a huge challenge, and especially so this year with about 75 per cent of the route being completely new. For that reason, I think making good pace-notes on the recce is going to be an equally important part of the challenge. I had a good feeling with the Yaris WRC in asphalt trim in Monte Carlo, but it was a very different rally to Corsica – except perhaps for the Power Stage where we went pretty well! I enjoyed my pre-event test last Sunday, even though it was a lot to learn in just one day on just one road. But I think we’re quite clear on our direction for the setup, and I’m looking forward to the rally.
What happened last year?
Ott Tänak finished in second place in his first full asphalt event in the Toyota Yaris WRC. Esapekka Lappi was poised to join him on the podium before he hit a kerb and had to stop to change a wheel, and finished sixth in the end. The pair won half of the rally’s 12 stages between them. Jari-Matti Latvala retired following a crash on the Saturday.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is inspired by the motto: “ALL FOR WIN” as it competes throughout the 2019 season. Our goal in 2019 is to fight for all three crowns. All team members are aiming for this big goal together. We look forward to your continuous support!
Press release: https://toyotagazooracing.com/release/2019/#
Press Kit and Event Pictures will be uploaded here: https://www.tgr-dam.com
Summary report of previous event: https://toyotagazooracing.com/wrc/report/2019/03/summary.html
Follow TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT:
∇Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TGR_WRC (@TGR_WRC)
∇Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tgr_wrc/ (@TGR_WRC)