Fri 08 Mar 2024

Latvala: Safari is our chance to bounce back

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has identified this month’s Safari Rally Kenya as the perfect event for his squad to bounce back to its winning ways.

The Jyväskylä-based team has lost the first two rounds of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship to its rival Hyundai Motorsport. Latvala is keen to reverse that trend and prevent a start-of-the-season Korean hat-trick. And recent history is very much on the side of Toyota - since the African classic returned to the series in 2021, the Yaris hasn’t been beaten.


Despite that impressive track record on such a rough event, Latvala remains humble.


“I’m really looking forward to Kenya,” Latvala said. “Of course, now the timing is different, the date has come forwards and it's going to be run in the rainy season – this is going to be quite a big challenge. But I think the reliability has been one of our strengths, which is, of course, good going to Kenya.


“We need to be really patient over there because the first two events for the season haven't been going the way we hoped. So it's a rally where I think we really want to bounce back.”


Reigning world champion - and former Safari winner – Kalle Rovanperä remains in the team to drive alongside regulars Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta on the Naivasha event (March 28 - 31).


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