Toyota sacrificed Yaris performance over risk avoidance in Finland

The technical director of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Tom Fowler, says that his team could make GR Yaris Rally1 more powerful in terms of performance at Rally Finland, but eventually it did not happen in view of avoiding unnecessary risks.

The Japanese team's basis is located near Jyvaskyla and this is was the reason why it had dominated in Finland for four years in a row as Esapekka Lappi, Ott Tanak (double winner for Toyota) and Elfyn Evans had won there.

However, Tanak and Hyundai broke Toyota's record in Finland as they secured their first victory on these fast gravel roads last weekend.

Last but not least, it must be mentioned that Hyundai has moved its test center in the Scandinavian country recently with the intention of making i20N even faster and to match Yaris's pace.

"I need to separate out what we need to do as a team and what we need to do personally because, from a team point-of-view, we should be really pleased", Fowler said.

"It would’ve been possible already on Friday night or even Thursday night, we have things we could do which we know make us faster but increase risk, both from a technical point of view and how we instruct each of our drivers to operate.

"We certainly have more we can give in terms of power unit, we have more we can give in terms of aerodynamic strategy, but these things come with more risk.

"And so the only reason to do that would be to keep the record that we’ve always won in Finland. 

"So from my job and Kaj and how we’ve laid out this rally, we need to leave our personal ambitions on the side and say what’s best for the team?

"It hurts, but we need to be pleased with what we’ve done, concentrate on the championship and carry on".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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