The Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team will hit the gravel stages of Rally Argentina this week, looking to build on their strong showing last time on the asphalt roads of Corsica.
The fifth round of the 2018 World Rally Championship (26 to 29 April) will be fought out over a wide range of different surfaces, from soft sand in the valleys to rocky mountain tracks. The softer stages can be prone to ruts forming as more cars pass over them, while fog and even ice can cause hazards at higher altitudes.
Team Principal Tommi Makinen is looking for better results than the fifth and seventh places secured by the team last year. He said: “The Yaris WRC is improving all the time, and it’s always easier when you go to a rally for the second time. However, it’s also true that our rivals are stronger than ever, so I think everyone will start the rally on a very equal footing, which should make it a nice battle.
“We have been testing in Sardinia, as those are the closest conditions you can find in Europe to Argentina: I think it’s quite representative. In Argentina you have many different types of road surface – some soft, some hard, some with rocks, some quite clean – and adapting to them all is probably the biggest challenge. Hopefully, with the latest improvements we have brought to the car, it can be strong under all those different circumstances and on different roads: this is our aim.”
The event is based in the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz, around a 30-minute drive from the city of Cordoba. The rally will begin here with a super special stage on Thursday night. Friday will consist of two loops of three stages in the Calamuchita Valley, punctuated by a super special in a theme park in Villa Carlos Paz, just prior to midday service. This stage will be run again on Saturday between two loops of three stages in the Punilla Valley. The rally will conclude with three stages on Sunday in the Traslasierra mountains, including two passes of the famous El Condor, the second time as the event’s Power Stage.
Notes to editors
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