(From left) TMG President Toshio Sato, Team Representative Tommi Mäkinen, Team General Representative Akio Toyoda, and Team Assistant Representative Koki Saga

World Rally Championship: Toyota Gazoo to test machines for 2017 rally next spring

Team General Representative Akio Toyoda, Team Representative Tommi Mäkinen, Team Assistant Representative Koki Saga, and TMG President Toshio Sato gathered at the Toyota Gazoo Racing in Fuji Speedway at the end of November for their comeback in the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017. They strengthened their unity towards success by working on the production of full-fledged cars.

During the discussion, Team General Representative Toyoda mentioned his expectation towards the team led by Tommi Mäkinen, “Manufacturing cars for rally is not only about theory, but it is also about producing local products that would suit ‘each others’ paths.’ Therefore, Toyota, which has been aiming to produce better cars, still have many things that it once again needs to learn. We should greatly learn those things from Mäkinen, who practices those techniques.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing currently has 24 wins in the WRC, and they are making preparations at their base point in Finland through the leadership of Mäkinen, who has shone with the Driver’s Title for four consecutive years. Also, under the team that he is supervising, they gathered 40 well-experienced and passionate specialists.

Mäkinen said, “We have a very limited time for preparations until the rally; even though this is a difficult project, we were able to form a professional and cooperative team. Through the devoted works of our team members, I foresee that we will be able to achieve our goal as we follow the schedule.
Certainly, there are many things that we have to do, but we are organizing our preparations.”

Hereafter, Toyota Gazoo Racing is finishing the Yaris WRC at their best level as led by Mäkinen. The next important step in this project, which is the car testing, is set to begin by spring 2016.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)