TäNAK AND LATVALA SCORE DOUBLE PODIUM FOR TOYOTA ON RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team enjoyed a superb start to their 2018 campaign with a double podium result on Rallye Monte-Carlo yesterday (28 January). Team newcomer Ott Tänak scored an excellent second place, leading home the Yaris WRC of Jari-Matti Latvala.
Tänak impressed throughout his first event in Toyota colours, quickly adapting to the car to set four fastest stage times and challenge for victory in typically demanding road and weather conditions. Lying in second place going into the four stages that made up the fourth and final day of the rally, he played a cautious game which duly delivered his podium result.
“It’s really nice to start the season like this, it looks like I’ve joined a very strong team,” he said. “The car has been amazing and I’ve felt really comfortable in it since the start of the rally. It was an extremely tough event with such difficult conditions, but we managed to get through without any serious problems.
Latvala consolidated his third place, but the third Toyota driver, Esapekka Lappi paid the price of a small mistake on the final stage to drop from fourth to seventh. Latvala said: “I’m really relieved to get to the finish and to be on the podium. The team has done an excellent job and the car is performing really well so I’m excited for the season ahead. It’s going to be about staying cool and thinking about the championship and the points. This has been a good start.”
More ice and snow await the team on the next event in the WRC calendar, Rally Sweden, running from 15 to 18 February. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT scored its maiden victory in Sweden last year and will be looking to repeat its success.
FINAL RESULT, RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 4h18m55.5s
2 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +58.3s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m52.0s
4 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC) +4m43.1s
5 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4m53.8s
6 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m54.8s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4m57.5s
8 Bryan Bouffier/Xavier Panseri (Ford Fiesta WRC) +7m39.5s
9 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citroen C3 WRC) +9m06.7s
10 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Skoda Fabia R5) +16m43.0s