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Rally legend Kankkunen units goal for Latvala on WRC comeback

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Toyota WRC boss Latvala is making a uncommon return to the WRC for his dwelling occasion to pilot a fourth Toyota GR Yaris entry.

It is going to be the primary time the 18-time WRC rally winner will compete on the prime stage since a one-off outing at Rally Sweden in 2020 previous to taking over the workforce principal position at Toyota.

The choice to contest Rally Finland, which was solely made after Toyota’s dominant 1-2-3-4 at Safari Rally Kenya last month, is born out of a need to drive the Rally1 hybrid technology WRC automotive in competitors.

To arrange for the quick gravel rally, which he has received three-times beforehand, Latvala drove the GR Yaris on the Goodwood Pageant of Velocity final month, previous to a check day on Finnish roads yesterday, alongside co-driver Juho Haninnen.

Talking forward of this week’s rally Latvala says he has sensible expectations earlier than revealing that compatriot and four-time WRC champion Kankkunen has set him a modest aim for the weekend.

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“I do know I haven’t been driving for 4 years on the prime stage automotive,” Latvala advised Autosport.

“I do know myself will probably be powerful within the first couple of levels. The goal is to attempt to enhance over the weekend. If I can have higher stage occasions than what I’ve firstly of the rally, then that could be a good step ahead.

“Juha Kankkunen has given me a plan. He’s going to be in Finland working as a Toyota ambassador and he has stated that my consequence needs to be between fourth and eighth.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 testing in Finland forward of Rally Finland

Photograph by: Toyota Racing

Targets apart Latvala says one of many causes he’s endeavor this rally is to expertise the Rally1 automotive first hand to higher perceive his workforce’s drivers at future occasions.

“Working with the drivers, for instance Thierry [Neuville] stated on the Energy Stage in Estonia that he misplaced his hybrid energy and he did not understand how a lot time he would lose,” he added.

“I wish to perceive this hybrid energy. How a lot it helps the drivers and the way the ability comes within the corners and what’s the impact when you have got it and while you don’t have it.

“Then I can perceive our drivers significantly better in future when I’ve an understanding of this performance and the efficiency of the automotive.”

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With Latvala competing this weekend, the Finn says he can be in full “rally mode” and has handed his workforce principal duties to former Toyota president Akio Toyoda.

Requested if it will be onerous for him to modify off from being a workforce principal, Latvala added: ”We now have had a little bit of a dialogue about it. There are already some conferences with folks wanting to debate Rally2 and issues like that in Finland and different stuff for the longer term, however I’ve stated I can’t do each.

“I can’t be negotiating issues for the longer term and be focussing on the rally. I can be in rally driver mode and I’m getting into with that mindset as I’ll get confused attempting to concentrate on each issues.”

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