Mon 05 Feb 2024

Snow mileage dials Toyota stars in for Sweden

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala described his squad’s Arctic Lapland Rally outing as ‘very important’ following a dominant display from Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans.

The two GR Yaris Rally1 cars dominated the timesheets, but Finnish star Rovanperä's hopes of scoring a home win were lost when his car retired from the rally with a technical issue on the final stage. Evans won the event.

Latvala, who competed on the event in his own Toyota Celica, said: “This has been a very important test event for us. Kalle not finishing doesn’t disturb us. Kalle was happy with the car and confident in his preparations. Elfyn was able to run first on the road in a similar position to what he’ll be in Sweden later this month.”

Reigning world champion Rovanperä said: “It was good to get some kilometres in the car – Sweden is demanding because it’s the only snow event of the year and we have to make sure we nail the set-up in just a few tests. We don’t have so much experience of these conditions and we need to make sure the car is fast.

“Of course, it’s a shame not to finish on top, but that wasn’t what this test event was about.”

Evans found himself still struggling to find that same balance Rovanperä talked of. He will continue the process when the team conducts its pre-Sweden test in central Finland this week.

“It’s really useful to come and do this event,” he said. “Having mileage on the snow and ice is a massive benefit – it’s such a unique surface. I think it’s no secret that we still have some work ahead of us to get the car into the window before we feel fully comfortable. Let’s see what we can find during the rest of this week.”

Toyota is chasing more winter rally pace having struggled to match Hyundai and M-Sport Ford in Umeå last season.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM