Latvala is about to expertise a hydrogen-powered race automobile for the primary time this weekend, when he tackles the Fuji 24 Hours behind the wheel of GR Corolla H2 Idea.
The Finn’s second expertise of an around-the-clock enduro, after he contested the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2010, arrives following an invitation from Toyota president Akio Toyoda and means Latvala will likely be absent from this weekend’s WRC spherical in Sardinia.
Consequently, Toyota WRC sporting director Kaj Lindstrom will lead the staff on the tough Italian gravel rally.
The WRC has taken its first steps in the direction of a extra sustainable future with the introduction of the new-for-2022 Rally1 hybrid automobiles, powered by 100% renewable fuel.
However the FIA is already urging the WRC to plan for its next set of regulations with a number of choices on the desk regarding car propulsion.
Talking forward of his Fuji 24 Hours outing, Latvala feels hydrogen energy may present an answer and would show a greater possibility for rallying than transferring to full electrical energy.
“I used to be actually honoured by the invitation as a result of it it’s an fascinating factor to drive these hydrogen automobiles,” Latvala advised Autosport.
“I feel in rallying, now we’re within the hybrid mode, however in 10 years time we might want to discover one other answer.
“Hybrid is for this period however I feel we’d like one thing new and I feel hydrogen could possibly be an possibility within the rally world as a result of in rallying we will’t go full electrical, it’s unattainable.
Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Picture by: Toyota Racing
“And with out the sound no one will go to the forest or to the mountains to look at the automobiles, we have to have sound in rallying. In circuit racing it isn’t as essential however in rallying we’d like it.”
Looking forward to the Fuji 24 Hours, Latvala will share driving duties with Toyoda (entered below his typical pseudonym of ‘Morizo’), Tremendous GT common Hiroaki Ishiura, Masahiro Sasaki, Yasuhiro Ogura and Japanese rally champion Norihiko Katsuta (father of present Toyota WRC driver Takamoto).
It is going to be Latvala’s first style of circuit racing since his 2010 Nurburgring expertise in a Ford Focus RS.
“Twelve years in the past after I was driving with Ford I did the Nurburgring 24 Hours race and that was actually nice expertise, I actually loved it,” Latvala added.
“I stated after I completed my rally profession that I want to come again. I’m not going again to the Nurburgring, however I’m going to Fuji so I’m enthusiastic about it.
“At the least I’ve been to Fuji, so I do know the observe as a result of we had been there on the finish of 2018 when the Supra was launched.
“We managed to check it [the Supra] on the observe so not less than I’ve a little bit of a sense as to what’s developing, however for certain it will likely be completely different.
“There’s going to be quite a lot of automobiles on the observe and really quick automobiles.
“I must be concentrating [all of the time] as a number of the GT automobiles are actually quick and they are often overtaking you at excessive pace, so I will likely be following them in my mirrors on a regular basis.”