AN ISLAND RACE: TOYOTA GAZOO RACING READY FOR THE TOUR DE CORSE
The twisting roads of Corsica await the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team this week as they embark on the Tour de Corse (Rally France), the fourth round of the 2018 championship season.
The event is the first full asphalt contest of the year and the trio of Yaris WRC drivers, Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi, will be keen to return to the form that yielded the team a double-podium result on Rallye Monte-Carlo at the start of the year.
France’s round of the WRC is famous for its narrow, mountainous stages, often lined by rock faces on one side and sheer drops on the other. The length of the stages and their abrasive surface make tyre wear an important consideration.
Team Principal Tommi Mäkinen is in confident mood: “I think Corsica should be a good rally for us. Our car has been working quite well on asphalt and we have had some really good pre-event testing. Our test driver Juho Hänninen was working on the suspension and he has done a very good job to improve the car and I think the drivers are all happy with the way if feels. Everybody in the team seems to be well-prepared, so I feel pretty confident that everything will go well,” he said.
The rally is based at the airport at Bastia, with first action on Friday comprising two loops of two stages. One of these, La Porta-Valle di Rostino is more than 30 miles long. Saturday brings two runs through a series of three stages around the north coast, covering 85 miles. For the final day the action moves to Ajaccio, the island’s capital, and includes the daunting 34.2-mile Vero-Sarrola-Carcopino test, the longest stage to feature in the rally since 1986. The event concludes with a Power Stage at Pénitencier de Coti-Chiavari.
Notes to editors
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