MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Kris Meeke joins Ott Tanak and Matti Latvala at Toyota for 2019

Toyota has confirmed that Kris Meeke will join its driver line-up for next year’s World Rally Championship, alongside incumbents Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala.Meeke took five wins for Citroen since joining the manufacturer mid-2013 but was dropped earlier this year after a spate of high-profile crashes and setbacks.

But he has been handed an opportunity by Toyota and will return to action in the championship next season.

“It’s a huge pleasure and honour for me to become a Toyota driver,” said Meeke.

“I’d like to thank [President] Akio Toyoda, [Team Principal] Tommi Mäkinen and the entire Toyota team for their faith in me.

“Three years ago, we first discussed the possibility of me joining the team, and I’m so happy that it’s finally happened now.

“The performance of the Yaris WRC speaks for itself, but the team spirit here is incredible at every level, also with the Japanese culture of honour and respect. I can’t wait to get started.

“I’ve got no particular objectives other than to enjoy my driving again and help Toyota to win a championship.

“The very first championship that I won was actually when I was aged 16 and co-driving for my brother on our local road rally championship.

“We clinched that title in a Toyota Corolla, so for very many reasons, it feels incredibly good to be here. I can’t think of a better place to be.”

Added Makinen: “We are all very excited to have Kris joining us here.”

“We know that he is very fast, but he also brings a lot of experience.

“His technical understanding is at a really high level and I believe he can provide new knowledge and ideas to help us in our aim to keep making the Yaris WRC better.”

Source: Motorsport Week