Latvala optimistic for gravel rallies after car improvements in Mexico

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, says that he is confident about his team's performance on the upcoming gravel rallies after the improvements on Yaris which were introduced at Rally Mexico.

The Japanese team secured a double podium in Mexico two months ago and Sebastien won this event for a seventh time in his career becoming the WRC drivers with the most victories there. All of its drivers, including Ogier, tested the GR Yaris Rally1 on gravel in Sardinia the week after the finish of Croatia Rally whereas M-Sport Ford and Hyundai prepared for the next three gravel rallies in Portugal. After the end of the fourth WRC round, three Toyota drivers are on top three on drivers' championship with Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans having equal points, which means that the latter will start first on the road in Portugal on Friday, while Toyota extended its advantage over Hyundai by two points at the end of Croatia Rally.

"We are in a good position in the championship but it is still extremely close, particularly between the drivers, and we have to keep working in a positive way to achieve more great results", Latvala said. 

"Portugal is a rally that on one hand you can attack, but on the other hand, you also have to take care with the tyre wear and avoid hitting rocks, especially on the second pass. 

"It’s a rally I always enjoyed as a driver and I believe our drivers enjoy it too: Elfyn and Kalle have both won there and it has been a strong event for Takamoto too. 

"We feel quite confident going there as we have made good improvements to the GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid on gravel, which paid off already in Mexico. 

"We worked to build on this during our recent test in Sardinia, which was important preparation for the three rough gravel rallies we have coming in quick succession over the next few weeks".

Photo Credits: Toyota

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