Published on October 30th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Completes a Rollercoaster Rally in Spain
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team leads the manufacturers’ championship standings heading to the final round of the season following the conclusion of an eventful Rally de España. Ott Tänak also retains a chance in the drivers’ title race after scoring maximum points in the Power Stage and finishing sixth overall, just in front of team-mates Esapekka Lappi and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The Toyota Yaris WRC again proved its strong performance throughout the demanding rally, which featured a mix of surfaces with both gravel and asphalt, as well as a wide range of weather conditions.
Tänak led the rally until a puncture on Saturday morning relegated him down the order.
On the final day he was able to move up to sixth overall and post the best time on the Power Stage, earning five bonus points to leave him within 23 points of the drivers’ championship lead with 30 points still available.
Latvala produced a stunning fight-back from a puncture on Friday to lead on Saturday night at the head of an extremely close six-way battle. He was lying second and still firmly in the fight for the victory when he touched an armco barrier on the penultimate stage, leading to wheel damage and a flat tyre. After having to take a safety-first approach to the final stage, he finished up eighth overall.
This gave seventh to Lappi, who recovered from a difficult Friday to display strong speed on Saturday. On Sunday, Lappi succeeded in his aim to finish the rally and, together with Tänak, clinch crucial points for the manufacturers’ championship: the team has a 12-point lead as it bids to claim the crown in just the second season of Toyota’s rallying return.