TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has claimed a stunning victory on home territory at Rally Finland, with Esapekka Lappi claiming his debut victory and Juho Hänninen finishing third: the first time the team has had two cars on the podium. Not only that, but the Yaris WRC led for 22 stages out of 25 in total, claiming 18 stage wins, 13 stage one-two finishes and one stage one-two-three finishes.
“I’m not normally an emotional person but this is amazing. What a rally. I could never have imagined that we could get a result like this, so it’s a very big surprise. I have to say a big thank you to the team because they have built such a great car in a very short period.” said Lappi
Latvala was forced to retire from the lead on Saturday, but returned to action on Sunday and was quickest on three more stages – one of them jointly with Hänninen. He took fourth on the Power Stage to claim two additional championship points at the end of a weekend that will go down in history for the team.
Latvala commented “Luckily after our problem yesterday we were able to come back today and it started really well, winning the first three stages. We had a good run on the Power Stage but the road was more slippery for me than the drivers who followed, so two points was the maximum. Even though it could have been even better, it’s a great team result with Esapekka taking his first win and Juho his first podium, well done to both of them.”