Toyota ready to battle with Hyundai in 2024 as Latvala reveals

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, says that his team is prepared to fight with Hyundai for both championships in 2024, but believes that there are still areas in which they need to be improved ahead of the new season.

The Japanese team is the WRC Manufacturer Champion for season 2023 and claimed their seventh title in World Rally Championship at Rally Chile one month ago. In addition to that, two Toyota crews (Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen and Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin) were the title contenders for this year as Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe and Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja stayed behind on the standings after Chile and Greece respectively which means that Latvala's team was successful on drivers' and co-drivers' championship apart from the manufacturers'. So far, Hyundai has confirmed Tanak and Neuville for next season while Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen and Dani Sordo are a questionmark if they will continue driving the i20N whereas it is hinted that Toyota will retain the same drivers as in 2023 despite the recent rumors on Rovanpera's future.

"Clearly Hyundai is doing a lot of efforts for the next season", Latvala said. 

"Their mission is to win both titles.

"We are prepared. 

"We know it’s gonna be tougher next year.

“We know we have a very reliable car.

"But of course, that’s not enough. 

"We need to work to get more performance.

"But also what I see with our driver lineup is, for me, that our drivers have been very consistent this year. 

"And this has been our strength.

"There are still rallies where we need to be better. 

"There are some like Chile with the tire wear, which was not at the right level. 

"That is something we need to improve for the next year.

"And focus on our [other] weakness areas, and just not to do too many changes. 

"Just focus on what we have, improve that, and look toward the championship. 

"And I think it will be good.

"I think we shouldn’t be too much focusing on what Hyundai is doing.

"We just need to focus on what we know is our strengths, and try to improve those areas where we are a little bit weaker.

"Can we win it? 

"I dont know. 

"Nobody knows! 

"But we shouldn’t be too much focusing on Hyundai".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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