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Toyota's steering failures from Sardinia have apparently been resolved as they focus on another victory, this time in their home event in Finland. Experiences in Sardinia included the dramatic final stage power steering failure for Ott Tanak, following the similar failure for Jari-Matti Latvala. Latvala said: “It was due to a supplier error and the team has reacted to it. Engineers have made solutions so that it won't happen again.” Both Sardinia and then Estonia were really important for Toyota Gazoo Racing from the development opportunities. In Sardinia there was a fourth car (Juho Hanninen), who focused on development work, especially with the dampers and testing the car in actual competition. A new regulation affects Toyota Gazoo Racing this year regarding the area close to Jyvaskyla, officially designated as Toyota’s specific testing freedom area. Previously the team were allowed to test in the whole Jyvaskyla area, where they could use roads both in north and south. This year the test area was narrowed because they had to choose a place from where they could test within a 10-kilometre radius. All three drivers have the same cars last seen in Sardinia. Tanak won the rally last year, Kris Meeke won in 2016 and Latvala on three occasions – 2010, 2014 and 2015, and also gained five podium results in other years. Toyota cars have won here four times including the last two years.

Driver quotes:

Ott Tänak “I'm really looking forward to getting the second part of the season started on Rally Finland. It's a rally that I enjoy a lot with the fast and smooth roads, and it was an incredible feeling to win last year. Of course, we will try to achieve the same result this year, but it looks as though it will be more difficult, as we will be running first on the road on the Friday. Two weeks ago we took part in Rally Estonia and it was great to win the rally again in front of so many fans, but it was also a really good test for Rally Finland. I believe that we learned a lot, so I'm feeling well-prepared.” Jari-Matti Latvala “I've had a good summer break and I'm feeling ready to restart the season on Rally Finland. I tried to have some time away from rallying, but we also had a couple of days of testing to prepare for this event, and it's always enjoyable to be back driving on fast gravel roads here in Finland. These are the roads where I feel at home, and I always get a lot positive support during the week of the rally. Last year, it's where our season took a more positive turn with a podium finish and I hope we can do similar this time. The speed is there on gravel, we know that from the last few events, so now we just need to try and secure a good result.” Kris Meeke “Rally Finland is definitely one of my favourite events with some special memories for me, and I'm really looking forward to taking it on with the Yaris WRC. Finland is where I got my first taste of this car, and we tested there again last week, and the car always feels incredible to drive on those roads. It was developed in Finland and we've seen in the last two years just how strong it can be on this rally. I think that everyone in the team is feeling confident about the second part of the season, and hopefully we can kick-start that with a great result in Finland. I'm going to be at a bit of a disadvantage because a lot of the route will be new for me, but I'm ready for the challenge.” Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal) “Rally Finland is of course a very special occasion for our team. We have won the rally in each of the last two years, and we have a great opportunity to make it three out of three. We know the roads and their characteristics well and we know that our car is well-suited to them. All three of our drivers really enjoy this event and have won it in the past, so I think that our chances are good. But we are taking absolutely nothing for granted: Our rivals have been working hard to improve on this event, so we need to stay focused and push for the best possible result.”
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