TOYOTA GAZOO RACING IS BRACED FOR THE CHALLENGE OF RALLY TURKEY (13-16 SEPTEMBER) AS IT BIDS TO AVOID THE HEAT-RELATED ISSUES THAT HURT THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS YARIS WRC IN MEXICO EARLIER THIS SEASON.
With back-to-back victories at Neste Rally Finland and ADAC Rallye Deutschland under its belt, the Japanese manufacturer has hit a rich vein of form. It is keen to continue its winning run when the WRC returns to the Turkish gravel stages for the first time since 2010.
But temperatures at the Marmaris-based event are expected to be similar to those experienced at Rally Guanajuato Mexico in March when Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi had to carefully manage their engines to prevent overheating.
Team principal Tommi Mäkinen is keen to ensure his cars cope better in Turkey.
“We are starting to think already about Turkey and we have done some preparations for the hot conditions,” Mäkinen explained. “As you will have noticed, we had some issues in Mexico. I hope these will be sorted out for Rally Turkey – this will be good for our confidence.”
Toyota struggled with high temperatures in Mexico
Having scored a double podium in Germany last weekend, Toyota travel to the 10th round of the season in confident mood. It could have had all three of its cars on the podium had Latvala not retired from third on Sunday morning.
Mäkinen confirmed a number of issues forced the Finn to pull off the road during the first run through the 29.07km Grafschaft test.
“Some hydraulic failure destroyed his rally. It was some electrics failure that stopped the oil pressure. He had to go to the manual [gear shift] system, which then finally had a technical problem with the transmission and that was the reason he stopped,” said Mäkinen.
“We feel very, very sorry for him. This kind of thing has happened to him so often, we just wonder when it is going to stop and when he is going to be champion.”