Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Tommi Mäkinen promised a business as usual approach to the final two WRC rounds as his team threatens to snatch the manufacturers’ world title from Hyundai Motorsport.
Victory for Ott Tänak and fourth for Kris Meeke at Wales Rally GB on Sunday enabled Toyota to slash the Korean squad’s lead from 44 points three rounds ago to just eight. A maximum of 86 points remain available.
Mäkinen said there would be no change to his team’s approach to the fixtures in Spain and Australia as the Japanese manufacturer strives to defend the title it won last year.
“Still I think the next two rallies we need to go flat out and concentrate on doing our job as well as we can. That is not such a big gap but if we do any mistake it can be difficult,” he said.
“It was a really great result. Great work during the whole weekend under big pressure. With this event is coming bigger pressure, two more rallies to go in the fight for the title and it was a great performance. I would say no mistakes at all.
“It doesn’t change anything. We are working according to the plan set a long time ago. We do some pre-event test for Spain and we’re confident it all works well.”
For Hyundai, Thierry Neuville guided his i20 to second with Andreas Mikkelsen banking more points in sixth, after being overhauled by Elfyn Evans in the final morning.
Asked if it had been a good weekend, team director Andrea Adamo said: “Good is quite an optimistic word, just enough to stay in the lead.
“I can’t say we are happy with the overall result but being top of the standings will give us more commitment, if any more were needed, to be stronger in the final rallies.”
Adamo will again ring the changes to his line-up for RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (24 - 27 October). Out go Mikkelsen and Craig Breen and in come Sébastien Loeb and home hero Dani Sordo.