Toyota completes Estonia switch
Toyota Gazoo Racing threw open the doors of its new factory in Estonia to its Yaris World Rally Cars following ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The Japanese manufacturer has split its WRC operations between existing premises in Finland and a new workshop 8km from the centre of Estonian capital Tallinn, where the cars will be rebuilt following each round.
The three cars returning from the Saarland-based asphalt encounter were delivered to the new factory for the first time and team boss Tommi Mäkinen says the move will streamline the squad’s travel schedules and save time.
“Tallinn is most of all a perfect location for us thinking about all European rallies, because we can travel by road via the Baltic instead of using ferries (from Finland),” he said.
“We are able to start our rebuild process quicker than in Finland. Also we need more space in Finland for new projects and now with the help of the Tallinn premises, we are able to double the space we need.”
While the maintenance and rebuild of Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi’s cars will be handled in Estonia, other aspects of Mäkinen’s operations will stay at Puuppola, close to Neste Rally Finland host town Jyväskylä.
“Product development, testing, headquarters and administration will stay in Finland and in Estonia we concentrate at the moment on rally car service. All the Estonian employees are quite new ones, the people hired in Finland will stay there,” explained Mäkinen.
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