Tuesday | 03 Aug 2021

Latvala: Team spirit key to maintaining lead

Jari-Matti Latvala has praised the 100% commitment and team work which has helped carry Toyota to a commanding lead as the 2021 World Rally Championship progresses into its second half.

Jari-Matti Latvala has praised the 100% commitment and team work which has helped carry Toyota to a commanding lead as the 2021 World Rally Championship progresses into its second half.

The Finnish-based Japanese manufacturer will need to protect a 59-point lead over its nearest rival Hyundai Motorsport across the next five WRC rounds to land a first Manufacturers’ crown in three years.

“The important thing for us is that team spirit,” said Latvala. “Inside the team we have all of our people working really well together and when you have a group working like this then it helps everybody to do their job to 100%. And when everybody does their job to 100% then you don’t get the mistakes.”

All three Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers have claimed victories in 2021

Toyota has won all-but one round of the seven starts so far this season – a run which has helped Sébastien Ogier establish a 37-point lead over team-mate Elfyn Evans, with the nearest non-Yaris WRC driver Thierry Neuville 52 down on the Frenchman.

“We have had some luck,” added Latvala. “And we know that Hyundai has the performance – they are fast. We haven’t necessarily been winning with performance all of the time, but we have managed to avoid the issues which have been stopping the cars.

“We have to continue this way for the rest of the season. We can imagine that, for the next round in Belgium, [Thierry] Neuville will come hard  - he wants his first win of the season.”

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