Toyota Stays in the Lead Ahead of Final WRC Round
Toyota Gazoo Racing had an eventful and difficult time at the Rally de España. Sebastian Loeb came out the weekend’s winner for the first time since coming out of retirement with the Citröen team, while the three Toyota teams finished sixth, seventh, and eighth.
Ott Tänak, currently third in the driver’s championship, was leading the rally when he suffered a puncture, dropping him far down the order. Despite this, he was able to move back up to sixth overall after posting the best time on the Power Stage, in the process earning a bonus five points and putting him within 23 points of the championship lead. There will be 30 points to play for at the final round.
Jari-Matti Latvala had also experienced a puncture but had managed to get himself second in the six-way battle for the lead when he touched a barrier, leading to a damaged wheel and flat tire, and forcing him to slow down and finish just eighth.
Toyota Yaris: Even the non-WRC version is pretty great
Along with Esapekka Lappi, who finished seventh, Toyota scored enough points to retain its lead in the constructors’ championship, though it shrunk to just eight points. If the drivers can avoid punctures at the final rally in Australia, however, the Toyota Yaris WRC car certainly seems to have the pace in hand to earn Toyota Gazoo Racing the title.
“It has been an incredible weekend with a lot of highs and lows and an amazing battle from start to finish. It could have turned out so much better for us,” said Tommi Mäkinen, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal. “Still, all three drivers got to the end of the rally, scored the points for the manufacturers’ championship and Ott did a great job on the Power Stage to keep the drivers’ title alive. We still feel really confident going to Australia: we have fast drivers and a fast, reliable car.”
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