TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has completed its testing program ahead of its long-awaited return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) after a break of 17 years and is ready for the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo. The event takes place from January 19th-22nd on tricky mountain roads when conditions can vary between dry asphalt, ice and snow.
Led by Tommi Mäkinen – four-time World Rally champion and quadruple Rallye Monte-Carlo winner – and with a strong driver line-up consisting of Jari-Matti Latvala (#10), one of the fastest rally drivers in the world, and the vastly experienced Juho Hänninen (#11), the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has all the ingredients in place ahead of this exciting adventure.
While Toyota has enjoyed considerable success in the World Rally Championship in the past, the Yaris WRC project represents a new chapter in the company’s long and illustrious motorsport history with its continued commitment to making ever-better cars through motorsport. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is keeping its expectations for 2017 firmly in check as it prioritises car development and learning over outright results.
The legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo is the oldest rally in the world and runs for the 85th time in 2017. It also marks the start of a new era for the WRC with revamped technical regulations resulting in faster, wider, lighter and, above all, more spectacular cars.
At just under 380 timed kilometres, Rallye Monte-Carlo is not the longest event on the calendar, but it’s probably the trickiest. Changeable weather and stage surfaces mean tyre choice and car set-up are often compromised, while the role of the ice-note crews, who provide last-minute information on stage conditions, becomes even more crucial.
Following the traditional ceremonial start in Monaco’s Place du Casino at 18:11 CET on Thursday January 19th, two night stages in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region provide an early – and stern – test ahead of Friday’s second leg, which is the longest of the rally at more than 160 competitive kilometres. The rally then begins its journey south from Gap to Monaco on Saturday via five mountain stages ahead of Sunday’s route, which includes two passes over the infamous Col de Turini. The prize-giving ceremony at the Palais Princier de Monaco begins at 15:00 CET.