It has been reported by the respected Yle.fi website in Finland that the drivers chosen for the start of the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Championship programme are Esapekka Lappi and Juho Hanninen.  

It Esapekka Lappi drove in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in 2013.is already known that the WRC project is to start with just two cars, notwithstanding the intention of the FIA to permit three car teams in 2017.   

These plans indicate the intention to rely on Finnish content in the team, and suggestions that highly rated foreign drivers, who would demand a full WRC program, are not being sought.  

2014 European Rally Champion, 25-year old Lappi has been driving for Skoda Motorsport for the past four years, and has already widely commented that now is the time for him to move on.  He has never rallied a World Rally Car.   

2012 European Rally Champion, Hanninen (35) has been the team’s main test driver so far.  Hanninen’s final regular year in the WRC was driving a Hyundai World Rally Car.  

It is reported that Tommi Makinen Racing has yet to start asphalt test work, but 6000km have been covered in gravel road testing.  

It is rumoured that the team will be launched at the Paris Salon motor show on September 28, but this has not yet been confirmed.
 
- Martin Holmes

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