Saturday | 10 Jul 2021

Latvala determined to fix Estonia troubles

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala is confident his team can erase the memory of a difficult Rally Estonia last season when the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Tartu next week (15 - 18 July).

Toyota’s Yaris was widely regarded as the favourite for an event run across fast gravel roads, but Hyundai’s Ott Tänak and Craig Breen dominated proceedings to finish first and second in 2020.

Kalle Rovanperä led for one stage before dropping time with a puncture and finishing fifth, directly behind team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans.

“Last year the drivers were not 100 per cent satisfied with the car in Estonia,” said Latvala. “There were more technical places on the route for last year’s event – more than had been expected. They were used to bring down the speeds.

Sébastien Ogier and his team-mates were not entirely satisfied with their performances last time round in Estonia

“Last year was a surprise for us, we didn’t expect that. We tested a lot on the fast roads and this meant some of those smaller roads were difficult and we were not at the level we were supposed to be.”

This time around Toyota has taken a more balanced approach to its Estonia tests, with data gathered from smaller, more technical roads as well as the fast sections.

“We feel we have made good steps with the car,” said Latvala. “The drivers seem happy after the test and this is good for the confidence ahead of the event. I hope we have fixed everything from last year and we can go over there and challenge.” 

  • Full coverage from Rally Estonia will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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