Wednesday | 15 Jul 2020

Mäkinen: Autumn will erase memories of spring

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Tommi Mäkinen says the planned, full autumn of World Rally Championship action will be enough to erase the memory of a difficult start to the 2020 season – and be worthy of the FIA’s silverware at its conclusion.

Toyota leads both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world championship tables ahead of September’s Rally Estonia re-start and Mäkinen is looking forward to getting back to business after the coronavirus-enforced lay-off.

The Finn said: “I would say, if we are doing the full, complete autumn season we have planned then it is going to be busy and full, full, full. I’m pretty sure the feeling is going to be the same if you win this year’s [championships] like in the years before. It would be very similar. Nobody would remember anymore spring time, which was only a long holiday for us!"

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Following Estonia’s debut in the WRC, four more WRC rounds remain in Turkey, Germany, Italy and then Toyota’s home event in Japan, the November finale to this season.

Having decided against the development of the GR Yaris WRC for next season, Mäkinen said there were only minor tweaks coming to the current Yaris WRC for the second half of 2020.

“There’s just some small items, but nothing really major,” said Mäkinen. “We did some testing, but these were just for some small improvements in some general areas – nothing specific.”

Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä have all tested twice in Finland in the last month, but that running was reportedly more driver-focused, rather than car development.

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