Latvala: Hyundai probably has stronger cards on table than Toyota on 2024 WRC title bid

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, says that his team's target is to defend its manufacturers' title over Hyundai Motorsport in 2024, but he believes that it will be a difficult task.

The Japanese team announced that Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta will have a full-season drive with the GR Yaris Rally2 whereas Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera will do a selected number of events, but it is likely for the two WRC Champions to enter to the same rally. On the other hand, Hyundai Motorsport confirmed Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak as its main drivers with Andreas Mikkelsen, Esapekka Lappi and Dani Sordo sharing the third i20N. In addition to that, Cyril Abiteboul has already decided the programme of the three part-timer drivers of Hyundai for 2024, but it remains unknown if they will bring a fourth car during this season. The organizers of Rallye Monte Carlo published the entry list of their event today with Andreas Mikkelsen and Sebastien Ogier making their first appearance with the third car of their teams in 17 days.

"It is going to be a tough season", Latvala said.

"We have had three fantastic years and this third one was absolutely the best. 

"We have to think about the cards on the table and Hyundai, compared to us, probably they have stronger cards on table.

"We have the two world champions running half a season. 

"They have two drivers who can fight for the title, we have one. 

"Elfyn is our driver who can fight for the title. 

"For Taka, we are still in a bit of a learning process: the next season for him was about achieving more podiums – it wasn’t the idea to go for the title in 2024.

"Of course, in that sense it’s tougher. 

"Our target is to try to defend the manufacturers’ championship title and if we can win the drivers’ title it’s a massive bonus.

"The message to Elfyn is basically that we don’t have to think about the drivers' championship.

"We go out there and do our job. 

"Drive the way he drove in Japan and then we’ll see where we are.

"I don’t want to give the pressure to Elfyn. 

"He has everything he needs, he has all the ability and our car is fast and reliable but winning the championship needs a bit of luck as well to bring all of the pieces together".


Photo Credits: Toyota

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