Strong hopes of victory dashed for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

Strong hopes of victory dashed for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

30.03.2019: Toyota Yaris WRC driver Ott Tänak's promising chances of victory on the Tour de Corse were ended late on the penultimate day of the rally, when he had to stop and change a tyre. Be




Toyota Yaris WRC driver Ott Tänak's promising chances of victory on the Tour de Corse were ended late on the penultimate day of the rally, when he had to stop and change a tyre. Before the unfortunate delay, he had won the first two stages of the day to close down the rally leader, moving back ahead by the end of the morning loop.
 
 

Having to stop in the middle stage of the afternoon loop cost Tänak around two minutes and took him from first to seventh place overall. On the long last stage, he gained one position to end the day in sixth, 22.4 seconds behind the driver in front.



All three Toyotas are on course to finish inside the points, with Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala moving up the leaderboard after losing time with incidents on Friday. Meeke in particular enjoyed a strong day, posting the fastest time on SS10. He ended the day ninth overall, one place in front of Latvala.



Quotes:



Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)


“It is of course very disappointing what happened to Ott when he was running in such a strong position. We have to investigate very carefully the issues we have had here and why it has been happening. At least we can see that the car is very fast on asphalt and that the performance has been very consistent. All three of our drivers still have the chance to score some more points tomorrow, and then we will look forward to the coming events.”




Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)


“We were having a good day: The car was feeling good and we had a nice clean rhythm with no mistakes. It's still difficult to understand what happened on SS11. It's really disappointing. The team has done a great job, the car has been incredible this weekend and I did everything I could myself. I knew this is one of the hardest events for us, so I prepared really hard. After the work we've done it's difficult to accept this. We still have some points to score tomorrow, and whatever happens, we can still take some positives away because we've been performing very well.”



Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)


“It has been a difficult day, my driving has not been good enough. This morning I was missing some performance, while this afternoon I tried to push more, but we had to stop and change a flat tyre. That was down to my mistake: On a right-hand corner there was a hole on the edge of the road and I hit it. I will try to have a good drive tomorrow: That would give us a boost at the end of the rally.”



Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)



“I enjoyed it today, particularly this afternoon. Being first on the road this morning was maybe not ideal – the surface felt quite slippery with no rubber having been laid down. We made a few adjustments in mid-day service and the car was working very well. To do a fastest time when the leaders are fighting hard shows the rhythm was pretty good. I'm still annoyed that I wasn't able to translate the car we had this weekend into fighting at the front, but now we will focus on the Power Stage tomorrow and see what we can do there.”




End of day two (Saturday):



1 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2m56.50.0s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4.5s
3 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +44.8s
4 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +49.9s
5 Teemu Suninen/Marko Salminen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m32.1s
6 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m54.5s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Citroën C3 WRC) +1m59.3s
8 Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3m21.4s
9 Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m55.9s
10 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6m35.4s




What's next?


The rally heads west from Bastia for the final two stages of the rally: Eaux de Zilia, the second-longest stage of the rally, and then the Power Stage finishing just outside the town of Calvi, where the podium ceremony will be held.





Key stage: Eaux de Zilia (SS13, 31.85 kilometres)

Seb Marshall (Co-driver car 5):

“This stage is very different in character. There's a section that is really bumpy, very narrow: Kris and myself were saying that it almost feels like Ireland in places. But then it finishes on a beautiful sequence of hairpins, downhill. It's quite a long stage, but there's a lot of sections with long straights of 200 or 300 metres – quite unlike Corsica.”
 



- Stephan Lesuisse, photos TGR


   

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30.03.2019 / MaP

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