Maki­nen wants mileage from Toy­ota’s re­turn to the top flight

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Toy­ota team prin­ci­pal Tommi Maki­nen wants one of his two Yaris WRCS to fin­ish this week’s Monte Carlo Rally less than 60 sec­onds be­hind the win­ner.

As the start of the sea­son closes in, Maki­nen’s ex­pec­ta­tions from 2017 have grown more and more re­al­is­tic than his talk of win­ning ral­lies in the first year of Toy­ota’s world rally re­turn.

Maki­nen, who has won the Monte four times him­self, said: “Our tar­get is to get good mileage from this rally, so I will be happy if we have both cars at the fin­ish and ar­rive in the same minute as the lead­ers. That would be a fan­tas­tic way to con­tinue our devel­op­ment, which is al­ways an on­go­ing process.”

Toy­ota starts the sea­son run­ning two cars, one for Jari-matti Lat­vala and one for fel­low Finn Juho Han­ni­nen – but Maki­nen ad­mit­ted he didn’t ex­pect this week’s sea­son opener to re­veal much about the hi­er­ar­chy for 2017.

Maki­nen said: “The most im­por­tant thing is to go to Monte Carlo with a re­laxed and open at­ti­tude. It de­pends so much on the con­di­tions there and ev­ery­thing can change in a split sec­ond. It’s hard for me to say at the mo­ment where we re­ally are in terms of per­for­mance and it’s un­likely that Monte Carlo will give us any def­i­nite an­swers ei­ther, as it is such a dif­fer­ent rally to ev­ery­where else.”

De­spite Maki­nen’s ef­forts to limit ex­pec­ta­tion, team chair­man and Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion pres­i­dent Akio Toy­oda was keen to point out the need for suc­cess.

“We hate to lose,” he said, “and we don’t plan to lose. How­ever, this isn’t a rally that can be won eas­ily.”

Maki­nen wants fin­ishes

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