Jari-Matti Latvala hopes to compete on five rounds of next year’s FIA World Rally Championship with an eye on a full-time return in 2021.
The world’s most experienced WRC driver, who was dropped from Toyota Gazoo Racing’s frontline squad announced last week, will miss next month’s season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo (23 - 26 January) for the first time since 2005.
But he will be back aboard a Toyota Yaris for Rally Sweden (13 - 16 February). The Torsby-based event, along with his home round Neste Rally Finland (6 - 9 August) are confirmed for the 34-year-old.
“These I know I do with the Toyota. As well as them, I work to make it possible to find the sponsorship to go also in Sardinia and Portugal and Wales. I would really like, I would love to make New Zealand. That would be the dream, but it looks like this one is too much money,” he said.
Latvala admitted he would be happy to join Toyota Gazoo Racing junior driver Takamoto Katsuta in a potential second WRC line-up should team boss Tommi Mäkinen decide to implement such a plan.
“It’s very important for me to keep driving next year,” he said. “This year has been a difficult one. It’s been quite a stormy season for me in my private life too, but I see next year more like a pause than stopping. I’m 34 now and still think I have another good couple of years in me.”
“Maybe it could make sense to join Katsuta in a second team and try to score some points. I did this already in my career, you remember when I was with Matthew (Wilson) in the Stobart team and we were battling with Subaru for third place in 2007.
“Basically, I want to do what I can to help Tommi and the whole team,” he added.