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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

WRC drivers count on “massive problem” in Japan from scattered leaves, pine needles

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Drivers have famous an extreme quantity of leaves and pine needles masking the asphalt levels following the recce earlier this week.

The situations are a lot worse in comparison with final yr with some crews describing the street floor as like driving on “ice”, and to make issues worse rain is predicted to fall on Friday.

It’s understood that there have been makes an attempt to clear among the leaves from the roads utilizing leaf blowers. Drivers have additionally requested for the roads to be cleaned with a choice on that anticipated later at the moment.

“I’ve by no means seen one thing like this,” stated Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi

“For certain, the roads are twisty however the issue is the leaves and the pine needles, the street is totally coated you can not see the street.

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“When it’s moist, I don’t know the way slippery it is going to be, however I assume it is going to be extra slippery than ice generally. I assume we should be very sluggish however let’s see perhaps the rain will assist, however whether it is actually moist we may get some mud flows from banks.”

Group-mate Thierry Neuville added: “We have now requested for it [the roads to be cleaned] however the data we have now bought is there might be no cleansing.

“We have now seen some levels have been cleaned in the course of the recce by individuals with leaf blowers. We don’t have any extra data for the time being.”

Picture by: Tomasz Kaliński

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Newly topped two-time world champion Kalle Rovanpera believes the rally might be “actually tough” and being first on the street gained’t be straightforward.

“I’ve by no means actually been a fan of those levels. They’re actually slim and difficult on a regular basis and fairly sluggish, which aren’t the most effective for me,” stated Rovnapera.

“This yr the situations look to be actually tough with all of the leaves and pine needles coming from the timber. Being first on the street shouldn’t be going to be straightforward. 

“On the recce after we had a piece with the pine needles it was like ice and in some locations, you don’t even see the tarmac. And whether it is moist, I don’t wish to know the way it is going to be. It is going to be an enormous problem, for certain.

“I’ll give my finest to attempt to win it, however it’s extra like a problem for me.”

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Toyota has set victory at their house occasion of the season as a key goal after shedding to Hyundai at this rally final yr.

Given the difficult situations, Toyota workforce principal Jari-Matti Latvala believes Friday might be about survival and persistence might be required from his drivers.

“It isn’t straightforward for the time being as there’s extra grime this yr, and final yr, we didn’t have pine needles on the street which is making it fairly slippery and there’s huge rain approaching Friday,” stated Latvala.

“I hope it’s not the case, nevertheless it could possibly be about survival Friday. We have to have persistence.”

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