Makinen revelling in unexpected bonus of Rally Sweden victory

Jari-Matti Latvala took victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing in just their second rally back in the WRC - Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal Tommi Makinen admitted that seeing Jari-Matti Latvala take victory in Rally Sweden was even more unexpected than finishing on the podium in the Rallye Monte Carlo was.

Four-time World Rally Champion Makinen admitted that whilst luck was involved in taking the win – Thierry Neuville crashed out from the lead on Saturday – the team has been working extremely hard to perform at their highest possible level, and the victory for Latvala will be remembered fondly for a long time to come.

“It’s very hard to find the words to describe what I am feeling right now: what we are all feeling,” said Makinen on “Monte-Carlo was an unexpected result, but this is beyond unexpected.

“Of course we were lucky to have this win, but it’s also a huge tribute to the talent of Jari-Matti and the united team work that has taken place in Finland, Germany and Japan. It’s an incredible feeling and I just want to thank everybody who has made it possible: especially our chairman Mr [Akio] Toyoda for his faith in us, Jari-Matti, Miika [Anttila, co-driver], Juho [Hänninen], and Kaj [Lindström].

“This is a special day that we are all going to remember for a very long time, but at the same time we will keep our feet on the ground now and continue to work as hard as always.”