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Toyota Gazoo Racing are reporting no specific technical advances in the asphalt specification of their cars since Corsica, with only only minor updates. In Finland, the team suffered no unexpected surprises. Punctures for Meeke and Latvala were ordinary slow punctures, while their accidents were considered normal rallying situations. All the drivers had at least one full asphalt day testing in Germany prior to the event. All three Gazoo team cars are new: Latvala chassis 12, Tanak 13 and Meeke 14. The car of Katsuta is entered independently by Tommi Makinen Racing. Reasons given by the drivers for their choice of permanent competition numbers are: Tanak, happy last year with #8 so why change? Meeke ran #5 in 2018, again why change? Latvala ran #10 in 2017, his first year with the Toyota team. Katsuka chose #17 because his birthday is March 17th. Team quotes: Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “Our fantastic result in Finland was really important for both championships, and we all hope that we can continue that form in Germany. We were strong there last year, and Ott has won the rally for the last two seasons, so we are feeling confident about our chances as a team of another top result. It’s a rally where there’s a lot that can catch a driver out, whether it’s in the vineyards or the Baumholder roads, so you need to have confidence in your car and be very focused to avoid mistakes.” Ott Tänak (Driver car 8) “Germany is obviously a rally that I like a lot. Martin and I have won there two years in a row and our target this year is definitely to make it three. It’s certainly not an easy rally: I think last year was one of the most difficult wins in my career, as the competition was very strong and I had to push really hard from the beginning. It’s a big challenge for a driver to have so many different types of road in one rally, and to try to be fast on all of them and not make any mistakes. We know that the weather is often a big factor as well, and it can be very hard to predict.” Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10) “It was really good to get the podium finish in Finland, and it means that I have a more relaxed feeling going to Germany. Last year we were up to second place when we had a problem on the final day and had to retire, so we know that we can be strong there. I’m really excited to see how we will do and I hope we can be fighting for the podium places again. The last asphalt rally in Corsica was difficult for me but we really worked on this in our test in Germany before Rally Finland: We were working on the braking and the turning, and I had a good feeling in the car.” Kris Meeke (Driver car 5) “After a run of gravel events, I’m really looking forward to competing on asphalt again. I’ve had a great feeling with the Yaris WRC so far on asphalt and I hope that we can find that again in Germany. It’s always a really demanding event because of the three different types of terrain and, on top of that, the weather is often changing from one stage to the next. But it’s a rally where I’ve been competitive in the past and I really hope that we can secure a good result for the team.”
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