Toyota in rally - both today and in the past

24.7.2018 10:03Toyota is strongly visible during the Neste Rally Finland. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing -team is, as usual, willing to give their best - after all it’s the home roads of Toyota Yaris WRC.

Besides the actual rally event there is much to experience. Particularly the Rally HQ at Jyväskylä Paviljonki offers plenty of things to see or do. In the Service Park area it is possible to follow closely, as the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team members service the Yaris WRC during the scheduled service breaks.

Toyota Auto Finland, the Finnish Sales & Marketing Company for Toyota, has a stand right after the entrance of the Service Park area. It offers also something to see and something to experience. Three cars are shown at the stand: the Yaris WRC car, WEC-series Le Mans 24 h race winning car (Number 8 Toyota TS050) replica and actual 0-vehicle (safety vehicle) model used in the Neste Rally Finland, the Toyota C-HR. At the stand, there is a possibility to experience Yaris WRC -car servicing in the Toyota Virtual Pit Stop Experience -simulator. Two players can simultaneously fulfil different kind of tasks in order to finish the service in the time given.

From the point of view of Toyota’s rally history, a very important date is Thursday, 26th of July. Before the opening stage of Neste Rally Finland (SS1 Harju) the grand old man of Toyota’s rallying activities, the late Mr. Ove Andersson will be nominated to the Rally Hall of Fame to join the mighty company of e.g. Tommi Mäkinen, Walter Röhrl and Carlos Sainz. Andersson founded Andersson Motorsport in the early 70’s which evolved later into Toyota Team Europe, thus marking the beginning of Toyota’s path in the World Rally Championship series.

Both on Thursday and on Friday, 27th of July, a Rally Hall of Fame Show Run will take place before the first car of Special Stages. Mr. Andersson will be represented by his son, Mr. Roger Andersson, and the car he’s driving is similar to the one marking the first WRC-victory of Toyota in hands of Hannu Mikkola in Jyväskylä in 1975 - the Corolla Levin 1600 (TE27). The car is shown outside the Show Runs at Rally Hall of Fame Exhibition at the Rally HQ at Paviljonki area. Also two WRC-Celica-models (ST165 & ST205) from Latvala Motorsport are shown at the exhibition.

Toyota is an official car partner of AKK-Motorsport ry, the organization behind the Neste Rally Finland, so one can expect to see a fair amount of Toyotas on the road during the event.

Photo: Taneli Niinimäki