Toyota test runs WRC Yaris on gravel ahead of Argentina
THE Toyota Gazoo racing team is counting on technical improvements to its Yaris WRC and its drivers' previous winning records to lift its recent gravel form at the upcoming YPF Rally Argentina.
After a strong start to the year and a surprise win at the second round in Sweden, team drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen had problematic runs to sixth and seventh place respectively at last month's Rally Guanajuato Mexico, the debut gravel event for the new Yaris.
Since then, both drivers have taken part in a pre-event test in Sardinia, on roads that were representative of the mixed gravel conditions found in Argentina.
Team boss Tommi Makinen, a three-time Rally Argentina winner (with Mitsubishi in 1996, 1997 and 1998), said progress had been made during the most recent bout of testing.
Both drivers have climbed the top step of the Argentinian podium in the past.
Latvala took victory in 2014, while Hanninen won in 2010 when the event was not part of the WRC schedule but instead belonged to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
"I've always had a very good feeling with Rally Argentina,” Latvala said.
"We've won it before, and even last year we were leading until we had a problem and went off on Saturday afternoon.”