Thursday | 23 Sep 2021

Latvala eyes seat time in hybrid Yaris

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala hopes to find himself behind the wheel of a 2022-specification hybrid GR Yaris WRC Rally1 before the end of this year.

Latvala is the most experienced driver in the history of the FIA World Rally Championship and feels his ability to relate to the exciting new generation of cars depends on seat time aboard the series’ first ever hybrid machines.

“Of course, I would like to drive it,” said Latvala. “But I have to talk to Tom [Fowler, technical director], he’s the one in charge of this.

“When the winter comes, I will ask Tom that I can drive. I want to understand what the drivers are talking about. I feel I can’t bring the same value if I can’t understand what they are talking about.”

Latvala has been a contracted factory WRC driver through the last two major homologation cycles, driving for M-Sport Ford when the 1600cc World Rally Cars replaced the two-litre category in 2011 and joining Toyota in time for the 2017 regulation revolution.

Until recently, only Toyota test driver Juho Hänninen had driven the all-new Yaris. Current factory drivers Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä were in the car for the first time at the end of last month, driving on asphalt roads around Gap in France.

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