Rally GB: DAY2Latvala leads Toyota effort after a tough day in Wales
All three TOYOTA GAZOO Racing drivers have made it through a challenging first full day of Wales Rally GB without any incidents. Jari-Matti Latvala holds fifth place overall and still has the podium positions within his sight with two days of rallying remaining. Juho Hänninen occupies 10th place, and Esapekka Lappi is only just behind.
Unusually on Rally GB, the weather was dry throughout the day, but after overnight rain all of the drivers found the grip levels difficult to predict in the muddy forests of mid Wales. Adding to the difficulty was the lack of any mid-day service halt, with only a tyre fitting zone at lunchtime. Having had the opportunity to work with the engineers to tweak the setup of their cars tonight, all three drivers will look to improve their positions tomorrow.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“The conditions have been difficult for everybody today. There was heavy rain overnight and then the roads started to dry, which actually made the situation worse as the moisture came to the top of the road and the surface became slippery. In the morning I was struggling with understeer and didn’t have the confidence to push, but we changed some things at the regroup and the car definitely felt better, even though were still struggling a bit with the traction. To be in fifth position is not so bad, but we have been discussing things that we can do to improve for tomorrow.”
Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“It hasn’t been so easy today. I knew the conditions would be tricky but trying to estimate the grip this morning when it was changing on every other corner made it hard to find a rhythm. This afternoon the driving didn’t feel too bad but the times were not good at all. Now we are thinking carefully about how we can change the setup a bit and get some more confidence for tomorrow.”
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)
“Today has been quite frustrating, as we have just been lacking grip. This morning I was missing some confidence, but it’s hard to build confidence when the pace isn’t there. I think we have something wrong in the setup because I was quite on the maximum in the last stage and we were still losing a lot of time. Now we have the opportunity to make changes in service to find some more grip and to learn for next year.”
End of Day 2(Friday):
1 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) 1h09m20.9s
2 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (Ford Fiesta WRC) +24.6s
3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +26.8s
4 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +37.1s
5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +41.9s
6 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citroen C3 WRC): +42.0s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +52.0s
8 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m13.9s
9 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m22.9s
10 Juho Hänninen/Kaj Lindström (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m43.5s
11 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m50.0s
(Results as of 21:00 on Friday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
Tomorrow’s schedule includes a 1.8-kilometre stage as part of Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. Newly sponsored by Toyota GB this year, this is a full day of entertainment designed to appeal to new rally fans and those with children. The stage itself – the only one to be held in England – is a throwback to the stately home tests that used to be common on the British round of the WRC, taking place on asphalt roads in the castle grounds. Spectators will have the opportunity to get autographs from top drivers and to enjoy a display of iconic rally cars from the past, including classic Toyotas.
The crews face a mammoth day tomorrow with nine stages in total and 16 hours between the start and finish of the day. The first car will leave service at 06:25 in the morning bound for a loop of four stages, containing the first runs of Aberhirnant, Dyfnant, Garthienog, Dyfi. The latter two stages will then be repeated, followed by the Cholmondeley test, before a return to service. Finally, Aberhirnant and Dyfnant will be repeated in darkness, with the first car not back at service until 22:16.
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Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“It has been a challenging day. Despite the dry weather, the surface of the stages is very muddy and slippery, which has been affecting all of the drivers. Our performance has not been what we were hoping for today, and we need to understand why. However, Jari-Matti is still in contention for a good result, and there are some things that we can try with all three drivers in order to help them find some more speed for tomorrow.”