Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Tommi Mäkinen believes Ott Tänak’s victory at YPF Rally Argentina can kick-start a winning run for the Japanese manufacturer.
The Estonian beat Thierry Neuville by 37.7sec to secure his first victory in a Yaris World Rally Car. It was Toyota’s first win since Neste Rally Finland in 2017.
Success was hard earned in Argentina as Tänak bounced back from the disappointment of hitting a rock and damaging his car’s steering during Friday’s opening special stage.
After witnessing his driver win 10 of the next 12 stages to take victory, Mäkinen is confident his team’s winning form can be maintained.
“I think we have all the elements at the moment to continue,” he explained. “We have all the elements we need to keep winning – the driver and car working together with a high level of confidence.
“This win is very important for the team. We have had a few tough years of hard work with so much effort to be here and to continue developing. I think the team is ready to put even more effort in going forward.”
Tänak’s victory has moved him to within 28 points of Sébastien Ogier in the drivers’ championship. Mäkinen, a four-time WRC champion himself, is optimistic Tänak can mount a title challenge – if luck is on his side for the remainder of the season.
He said: “The season is long, with different types of rallies. We have seen at the last few events we haven’t been so lucky. There are different conditions and different luck. You never know what will happen, but all the possibilities are there.”
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