Toyota Gazoo Racing reach unexpected triumphs in Monte Carlo with Jari-Matti Latvala’s second place finish. It wasn’t only the finish that caught people by surprise. At the beginning of the rally Toyota’s other driver Juho Hänninen showed great pace fighting for places at the top. Sadly, his fight was cut short as the Finn crashed into a tree and fell too far back.
Management cheers as drivers are doubtful
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s sports director Jarmo Lehtinen was notably happy and cheerful waiting for Rally Sweden. He said how the result from opening rally in Monte Carlo was a truly positive surprise for the whole team. While he celebrated Latvala for his podium he didn’t leave Hänninen without praise stating Hänninen had been the faster of the two in the start and what a pity it was to have his great rally be destroyed by a tree.
Lehtinen also gave his praises to the whole team, stating how 18 months ago they had an empty table and now after much sweat they were on the podium. He also seemed happy on the way the Yaris R worked in Monte Carlo. He stated that the minor electrical issues they had were merely nothing on the grand scale.
As what comes to the expectations towards Rally Sweden, Latvala doesn’t exactly share his director’s enthusiasm. To be fair, Latvala didn’t have the greatest possible preparation for this season being without a seat as late as November. Latvala himself states that the main goal for this season is to develop the car to be a future championship car although no doubt he hopes for higher things. “Even though the result we got in Monte Carlo was fantastic, I don’t think it is realistic to assume a same kind of result in Sweden.” Latvala said to a Finnish sport site.