Latvala to have the same set-up as Rovanpera at Rally Finland

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, says that he chose to have the same set-up as Kalle Rovanapera on his home event after his pre-event test and admits that he was so nervous that he slept little hours on Sunday night.

JML had the chance to spend almost eight hours driving the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 on the fast gravel roads of Finland two days ago as he wanted to prepare himself for his WRC return. His main target is to understand how the hybrid system is working and how a related problem to it can affect the rhythm of a driver during the stages as his intention is to try to comprehend what his drivers ask from their car. As he will take part in his home event this weekend, Akio Toyoda will take over his team principal role as Latvala wants to focus on his driving. Last but not least, it must be mentioned that Juho Hanninen will fill in the right bucket seat and the pair will be running with #97 which symbolizes the date that WRC cars started in the series after the end of Group A era.

"Immediately when I started the car felt easy to drive, it felt very nice to drive", Latvala said.

"We started at 9am, finished by 4pm, drove 150km, I did some adjustments and got really satisfied with the car but already the boys, we took quite a lot of their setup but eventually my setup is quite close to Kalle.

"I had a car that was a bit stiffer which is a bit more precise – this is what Kalle enjoyed and I also took the same.

"I didn’t sleep that well I can tell you, it was a short night on Sunday.

"I was first of all excited but secondly nervous because it was a stage I had never really done on a test, so a new road and getting that feeling of how it’s going to be, how is the car behaving, how is everything going? 

"How am I able to adapt to the car?

"But already after the first run ‘OK wow.’ 

"Even Juho said ‘OK, I’m surprised, I’m positively surprised about this run. 

"It wasn’t as bad as I thought.’ 

"Because if you don’t have confidence with these cars then the driving can be quite horrible.

"Of course towards the end of the day the confidence was coming, the speed was going higher. 

"I can’t go that speed I was going on the rally but if we can keep the speed like where it was on the third, fourth run then it will be very good".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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