LATVALA TAKES SECOND AND ALL THREE TOYOTAS CLAIM POINTS ON GRUELLING RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA

Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala closed the gap on his World Rally Championship rivals with a hard-fought second place on the weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna.

The seventh round of this year’s championship proved a gruelling test for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, but they produced an emphatic performance that saw all three drivers in the points, with a clutch of fastest stage times pointing to successful progress in development of the Yaris WRC.

Esapekka Lappi, making only his second appearance for the team, finished fourth, notching up a remarkable six stage wins, including the points-scoring final Power Stage. Juho Hänninen was the event’s overall leader on Friday, ultimately completing the test in sixth place.

Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen was pleased with the results, the island of Sardinia having produced some of the hottest and roughest conditions yet seen in this year’s championship. He said: “This was one of our strongest rallies without a doubt. The results speak for themselves so it’s for me to say many thanks to the people who made it possible – drivers, co-drivers, engineers, mechanics and team. It’s because of them that we can achieve this in what is only the first half of our first season. Of course we still have plenty more work to do.”

The next challenge for Toyota Gazoo Racing is Rally Poland, which takes place from 29 June to 2 July. Based in Mikolaji, it features fast roads with a sandy gravel surface, with speeds close to those seen on Rally Finland. Once again three Yaris WRC will be in action for Latvala, Hänninen and Lappi.

FINAL RESULT, RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA:
1 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3h25m15.1s
2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +12.3s
3 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m07.7s
4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m12.9s
5 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m25.3s
6 Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m38.5s
7 Mads Ostberg/Ola Floene (Ford Fiesta WRC) +6m31.8s
8 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Citroen C3 WRC) +8m07.8s
9 Eric Camilli/Benjamin Veillas (Ford Fiesta R5) +11m15.8s
10 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +11m21.4s
(Results as of 20:00 on Sunday local time, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for drivers after round seven:
1 Sebastien Ogier 141
2 Thierry Neuville 123
3 Ott Tanak 108
4 Jari-Matti Latvala 107
5 Dani Sordo 70
6 Elfyn Evans 53
7 Craig Breen 43
8 Hayden Paddon 33
9 Juho Hänninen 29
10 Kris Meeke 27
11 Esapekka Lappi 20

2017 FIA World Rally Championship for manufacturers after round seven:
1 M-Sport World Rally Team 234
2 Hyundai Motorsport 194
3 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT 143
4 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team 97

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