The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally team

GAZOO Racing (GR) increases lead with another double podium in FIA World Rally Championship

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 21, 2018: The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally team has increased its advantage at the top of the manufacturers’ championship standings after a double-podium finish at Wales Rally GB in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Making it the fourth event in a row where two of the Toyota Yaris WRCs have finished inside the top three, Jari-Matti Latvala engaged in a thrilling final-day fight for the rally win, ultimately finishing in second place with Esapekka Lappi in third.

Commenting on the GR team’s performance, Yugo Miyamoto, Chief Representative, Middle East and North Africa Representative ‎Office, Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “The outstanding achievements of our team and vehicles in claiming a fourth consecutive double-podium finish in the season at Wales Rally GB are a source of great pride for all of us at Toyota. Challenging events such as WRC push our drivers and vehicles to their limits and represent the perfect proving ground for future technologies. Everything we learn through our participation in racing events inspires our engineers as they strive to develop ‘ever-better’ cars. I would like to extend my gratitude to our fans for their unwavering support, which is a source of constant motivation in our quest to create vehicles that bring satisfaction and put a smile on our customers’ faces.”

The last day of the rally consisted of five stages, including three in the forests of North Wales and two all-asphalt stages finishing in Llandudno. Beginning the day 4.4 seconds away from the lead, Latvala in the No. 7 Toyota Yaris WRC made an excellent start to the morning, with a stage win on SS20 moving him into first position. He continued to fight until the end and finished up just 10.6 seconds shy of victory, as he took his third podium finish from the last four events.

On the other hand, Lappi, in the No. 9 Toyota Yaris WRC, began the day with a margin of just 1.7 seconds over the driver in fourth place, but immediately increased his advantage by winning SS19. He ended the rally more than half a minute clear as he made his third podium visit in the space of five rounds. With the results for Latvala and Lappi, GR World Rally team extends its manufacturers’ championship lead to 20 points.

Jari-Matti Latvala said: “It was a great battle, and I really enjoyed the fight. The first two stages were great for me, but it went away in the final loop. It was maybe down to the tire choice as I had one used soft tire, and it was not giving a firm grip on the gravel. This is a very important result for the team, the manufacturers’ championship, and also for me.”

Esapekka Lappi added: “I am pleased with this result. These are important points, especially for the team. In the morning loop, the performance was really strong as we defended our third place and managed to do the fastest time. We got a big gap, and after that, it was just about bringing the car safely to the finish, which we did.”

Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, ‎including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 ‎Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate ‎entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GAZOO Racing (GR), ‎to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Representing ‎Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ GR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to ‎making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme ‎conditions of various motorsports events, GR aims to forge new ‎technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.‎

What’s next?‎

Taking place from 25-28 October, Rally de España is the only WRC round run on both gravel and ‎asphalt. After one day on gravel, teams are required to transfer the cars from gravel to ‎asphalt specification within a 75-minute service. The asphalt stages that follow are ‎smooth, fast and flowing, similar to racing circuits in their characteristics.‎

Race Notes:

No. 7 Toyota Yaris WRC (Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila)
Position: 2nd
Time: 3h 06m 23.2s
No. 9 Toyota Yaris WRC (Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm)
Position: 3rd
Time: 3h 59m 47.6s

– Ends –

Notes to the Editor
About Al-Futtaim – Toyota
Toyota, a Japanese automotive manufacturer founded in 1937, is the world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles.
Toyota is exclusively distributed in the UAE by the Al-Futtaim Automotive Division, part of Al-Futtaim Group, for over 6 decades, and has been leading the sustainable mobility movement since 2008.
In addition to the large line-up of vehicles ranging from SUV, compact, sedan, coupe, MPV and LCV options, Al-Futtaim Toyota introduced Camry Electric Hybrid Vehicle (HEV) in 2008 to taxi operator fleets, in an effort to actively contribute to a lower carbon footprint in the UAE.
In 2016, Prius, the world’s most popular HEV for over 20 years was launched in the country, in order to actively support UAE Vision 2021’s environmental targets.
2017 saw the introduction of the zero-emission hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai, in a pilot aiming at studying the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen-based, carbon-free society. As part of the program, the Mirai is being showcased to a number of key government stakeholders and is taking part in a number of events to give the public an understanding of what the future of zero-emissions motoring could look like.
While the Yaris Hatchback monopolises the compact range, the Sedan series offers a wide choice of vehicles such as Yaris Sedan, Corolla, Camry and Avalon. The SUV range comprises the legendary Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado, FJ Cruiser, Fortuner and RAV4. As for the MPV line-up, it features Innova, Previa and the 7-seat Avanza. The LCV range covers the Land Cruiser Pick-up, Hilux, Hiace and Coaster. Dedicated to the purists’ sports car is the front engine rear wheel drive Toyota 86. For more information and to book a test drive of the latest Toyota models please visit http://www.toyota.ae; Social Media Handles: ToyotaUAE

Contacts for media:
Suzan Kazzi | Head of Corporate Communications | +9715 6 686 1887 | suzan.kazzi@alfuttaim.com
Hicham Younis | PR Manager Toyota |+97150 699 33 49 | Hicham.younis@alfuttaim.com
Lejo Johnny | Senior Account Manager | +971 50 453 7023 | l.johnny@ipn.ae

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