Toyota wants to win again in New Zealand

Toyota wants to win again in New Zealand

Ending the losing streak will be Toyota’s motto in New Zealand. for a return gathering In the Pacific Islands ten years after the last edition, the Japanese team arrives with ambition to break the bad spiral that has dragged on since Rally Finland.

The Jari-Matti Latvala team, which Hyundai has beaten in the last three events, will be hoping to regain the top spot on the podium in Auckland. “It’s a race our team is looking forward to.said the Finnish director. The Acropolis was of course a disappointment for us and we can learn from it to be stronger in the future. But Rally New Zealand is a very different gravel rally. The surface is smoother, the roads are fast and flowing, and the camber makes you feel like you’re dancing with the car. The roads are amazing and you won’t find them anywhere else WRC. »

A long-awaited comeback by the former WRC driver, who won the event in 2010 in an intense battle with Sébastien Ogier. Today, Latvala arrived in Auckland as manager, and also found the French pilot in the Japanese formation. The only driver on the 2022 grid to have contested Rally New Zealand, the eight-time world champion will be Toyota’s natural leader. “For the rest of our drivers it will be a new challenge, but I think they will all enjoy these roads and I’m sure we can fight for victory again.”Finn added.

Toyota will draw on Ogier’s expertise

Sébastien Ogier will return to the Yaris Rally1, and he hasn’t returned to the wheel in a WRC since last June’s Safari Rally. The Frenchman already had experience in Rally New Zealand in 2010. At that time, Gapençais failed to win his first WRC rally by less than 3 seconds. In 2022, the Toyota driver will have the opportunity to take revenge on him. “Rally New Zealand is one of the rallies I wanted to do this year. I was there already once in 2010 and have good memories of that.Sebastien Ogier recalls. The battle was very tight until the final corners as a spin gave the victory to Jari-Matti. The rally itself is great, with some of the best roads in the world. »

After a three-month break in rallying, Ogier will play the role of a typical teammate but not hold back from chasing a win in Auckland. “It won’t be easy to find the rhythm right away, but as always I will try to fight for the win and help the team get the best result possible. For his part, Elvin Evans and Kali Rovanpira will discover New Zealand roads for the first time.

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Match point for Rovanpera

The tournament leader, who has a new match point for the title, explained his method of preparing for the challenge that awaits him. “I’ve only heard good things about the country, the rally and the quality of the roads. We watched all possible videos to get an overview of the steps and to understand what we would need from the car before we got there.” Back on track one on Friday to open the road, Rovanpera can take advantage of the choppy weather to keep in touch. The victory would allow him to achieve his first title, after he missed his first chances in Ypres and Greece.

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