Toyota outline their "main objective" for penultimate WRC round in Spain

The “main objective” for Toyota Gazoo Racing on next weekend’s Rally Spain – the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship – is to retain the manufacturers’ title, their team boss has said.
Toyota outline their

Toyota hold an 81-point lead over nearest rivals Hyundai Motorsport and require one of their three GR Yaris Rally1 cars to finish on the podium and a second to come home inside the top six to add the makes’ title to the drivers’ and co-drivers’ trophies they banked on Rally New Zealand earlier this month.

Jari-Matti Latvala’s crews clawed back the makes’ trophy from Hyundai on the final round last season as part of an historic treble at Rally Monza in Italy.

However, they have the chance to wrap the last of the 2022 World Rally Championship’s main accolades up with their home round – Rally Japan – still to come next month.

Newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera and Elfyn Evans will again by vying for points on the Salou-based Tarmac meeting alongside three-time Rally Spain winner Sebastien Ogier.

The Friday leg includes two new stages, while Saturday features the longest speed test of the entire weekend at 15.11-miles. The ever popular ‘Riudecanyes’ with its famous roundabout where cars perform a 360-degree donut will serve as Sunday’s Power Stage.

Latvala says he has every confidence his drivers “will be motivated to get a great result” on a counter that is famous for its track-like road surfaces. “After the incredible achievement in New Zealand by Kalle and Jonne [Halttunen] to win the drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles, there is now one target remaining for us which is to win the manufacturers’ championship.

“We are not far away from it and the most important thing in Spain will be to bring two cars to the finish and score the points we need. This is the main objective but, of course, we also hope to have the speed to fight for the rally victory.

“The GR Yaris Rally1 has been competitive on all the asphalt rallies so far this season and we are confident that can be the case in Spain as well,” continued the Finn. “This is the rally where the roads are closest to a racetrack in character: it’s one the drivers can really enjoy and just focus on their lines and on braking as late as possible.”

Despite having time to bask in his record-breaking success, 22-year-old Rovanpera acknowledges “the work doesn’t stop” despite a one-two performance in New Zealand taking Toyota an important step towards back-to-back constructors’ crowns.

“When we got back to Europe, we were almost straight back in the car for our pre-event test in Spain,” he said. “The big goal now is to win the manufacturers’ championship and it would be great if we could secure it already in Spain.”

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