Toyota could not complete the final step in Sweden despite the car performance

The team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Jari-Matti Latvala, believes that they were not able to complete the puzzle despite the good pre-Sweden preparations, the car performance and the drivers' confidence, but his team's finish on Sunday classification and in Powerstage helped them on the manufacturers' championship.

Kalle Rovanpera was leading Rally Sweden from Stage 1 to Stage 3 as he pulled over his Yaris on an access road of SS4 after his hitting a snowbank and damaging the radiator. In addition to this, the Finn suffered from a rear puncture in that stage and stopped to change the tyre. On the other hand, Takamoto Katsuta was the top driver at the end of Friday morning, but he slipped behind Esapekka Lappi 0,9 seconds after SS9. SS10 was a dramatic stage for Katsuta and Toyota as the first one hit a snowbank and his Yaris was stuck in the snow resulting in retiring for the rest of the day. Elfyn Evans was the only Toyota driver who was inside the top five after his teammates' retirements, but he dropped many seconds when he had to start first on the road on the last three stages of Friday as Thierry Neuville faced a fuel-pressure problem with his i20N and started second. After the end of Rally Sweden, Toyota and Hyundai share the first place on the championship, but it must be mentioned that Evans scored the most points despite his not winning the second WRC round while Toyota scored 19 and 22 points on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

"This has been a tougher weekend than we had anticipated and the overall result is not what we would have wanted, but I’m really happy at least with what we could do on this final day", Latvala said. 

"Our preparation for this event was good, the car was performing well and the drivers were confident, but we couldn’t complete the final step. 

"When you push hard, which you need to do if you want to win, mistakes can happen and this weekend that happened for two of our drivers. 

"Elfyn meanwhile was in a very difficult position on Friday opening the road with so much snow, so he has done a great job to take second overall and fastest on Sunday, and he was on to win the Power Stage too until the final corners. 

"For us to have a one-two on Sunday and the Power Stage is really helping for the manufacturers’ championship".

Photo Credits: Toyota

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