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WRC - A strong finish for Toyota Racing in Germany

Two more stage wins


20 August 2017 - 16h26, by Olivier Ferret 

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team enjoyed a great final day on Rallye Deutschland with two more stage wins, taking its total this weekend to five and demonstrating the progress that the team is making with the Yaris WRC on asphalt. Juho Hänninen took his second stage win of the event as he finished a superb fourth overall. Jari-Matti Latvala finished seventh, while Esapekka Lappi also scored a stage win to end his challenging event on a high note.

Hänninen began the day by winning the Losheim am See stage to lift him up into fourth place, a position which he then cemented over the final three tests. It completed a great performance from Hänninen on a rally he last contested in 2011. On the next stage, St. Wendeler Land, Lappi took a satisfying stage win. The Rally Finland winner had been forced to retire from the opening leg after damaging his car’s suspension and then struggled for speed after restarting yesterday, but he carefully analysed his performance overnight and made a clear improvement. Latvala, who won two stages himself earlier in the rally but was delayed by a technical issue, made it a Toyota one-two on the stage. Lappi and Latvala later finished second and third on the rally-ending Power Stage to claim four and three bonus points respectively, with Lappi missing out on the win by only 0.2 seconds.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team principal)

“I am very pleased with our performance on this rally. It could have been even more but for the issue for Jari-Matti on Friday. At the beginning of the rally he had good speed and he could easily have fought for the win. Today was a very good day for us. Especially for Esapekka, he made a good improvement. Today was very important day for him to improve his confidence for this kind of condition. And now I’m really sure that Esapekka is ready to come here next year for fighting. Juho did generally a very excellent drive with fast stage times, and very close to be fighting for the podium. We are confident now that the performance on tarmac is also at a good level. It’s looking good now for the future. Now we will go to Spain where we again should improve our performance.”

Jari-Matti Latvala

“In the first stage this morning I was a little bit slow; I wasn’t quite awake yet. The second one went really well. I liked the stage and I had a good feeling about it going into the Power Stage. Unfortunately I had a touch in a left-hand corner very early in the stage, and I didn’t push because I was afraid I had a puncture. Still, it’s nice to get some points after the problem earlier in the rally.”

Juho Hänninen

“I’m very happy with this result. I lost a lot of time on the first day, but after that it has been good. The car has been great and the feeling has been good. I could enjoy pushing this morning, and then I backed off a bit. It’s very positive, especially if you compare it to the first part of the season.”

Esapekka Lappi

“We did a lot of analysis last night and found things that I was doing wrong, and today was a lot better. The second stage was really good. On the next one I went off because I braked too late, and the engine stalled. On the Power Stage I was really lucky, I had a big moment. But we must be happy with the speed we had today.”



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