TOYOTA SEEKS RALLY SUCCESS ON SWEDISH SNOW
The Toyota Yaris WRC returns to Sweden and scene of its maiden victory this week, competing in the second round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. Drivers Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke will look to build upon their promising start to the season in Monte Carlo where all three were in the points.
Latvala is a four-time winner of Rally Sweden, including the first victory for the Yaris WRC two years ago. On this year’s event he will set a new record for the most WRC starts by a driver (197), surpassing the tally of another famous Toyota driver, Carlos Sainz. He said: “This year’s Rally Sweden is going to be very special for me. It’s where I became the youngest ever winner of a WRC round, and now I am set to become the most experienced WRC driver, on the same event, just 11 years later. At the moment we have a good amount of snow here in Finland and I am expecting the conditions to be similar in Sweden, so we should have a really nice winter rally.”
Rally Sweden is the only full winter event in the WRC calendar, requiring cars to run with studded tyres to gain grip on icy surfaces. Drivers can ‘lean’ their cars through snow banks on the side of the road to carry more speed through corners, but if the weather warms up, these can disintegrate.
The action starts with a super special stage in Karlstad on Thursday. The itinerary is largely unchanged from last year, with the event based in Torsby, close to the Norwegian border. Friday’s action is in the immediate area, while the schedule for Saturday includes the classic Hagfors and Vargåsen stages. The rally will conclude on Sunday with the Power Stage ending at the Torsby service park, following two runs over the Likenäs test.
A fourth Yaris WRC will be in action on the event, driven by the returning two-time world champion Marcus Grönholm and entered independently by his own GRX Team.
Event pictures will be uploaded here: