FIA World Rally Championship

WATCH: Toyota Pick Latvala for Team Principal Role

1 Mins read
Photo Credit: Toyota GAZOO Racing

Toyota have chosen the most experienced driver in FIA World Rally Championship history, Jari-Matti Latvala, to replace outgoing Team Princiapl Tommi Mäkinen ahead of the 2021 season which begins next month.

Latvala drove for the Japanese manufacturer in the WRC from when they returned to the sport in 2017 until the end of 2019 – including earning the team’s first win with the Yaris WRC – and has been recruited with his vast rallying experience in mind by Toyota GAZOO Racing‘s board of directors.

He will begin his new job in January when Mäkinen moves to a new motorsport advisor role, and the 18-time WRC rally winner admitted he can’t wait to get going in his new position.

“I am really honoured to be taking on this position with the team, and by the trust that Akio Toyoda has shown in me,” said Latvala.

I’m really excited to continue the work he started together with Tommi, having been a part of this team from the beginning as a driver.

“Now, as Team Principal, I have to see the bigger picture: I have to motivate everybody in the team to work together to achieve the best results. It’s a new challenge and I’m up for it.”

“Tommi has done a fantastic job with the team, building it up from zero and bringing the success that he has. Of course, there is always room for improvement and I want to use what I have learned over the years as a driver and work together with the team directors to make this team as successful as possible.”

Latvala drove for several manufacturers throughout his WRC career, and will again be reunited with long-time teammate Sebastien Ogier with the pair having been at Volkswagen during the Polo WRC‘s dominance in the sport between 2013-16.

Latvala’s first rally in charge of the team will be at next month’s Rallye Monte Carlo between January 14-17.

You can watch Latvala’s first interview following the announcement below:

Follow @tcfoffroad on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Avatar photo
656 posts

About author
I'm 23 and studying a Masters in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland after graduating with a Sports Journalism degree last year. I'm one of the co-editors here at TCF and mainly look after the off-road section of the site which covers championships such as the FIA World Rally and World Rallycross series'. Away from writing and studying I have a deep interest in of a lot of different sports as well as trying to be an amateur motorsport photographer and I'm also a big music fan too!
Articles
Related posts
DakarFIA World Rally Championship

Sebastien Ogier "never been really attracted that much" by Dakar Rally

2 Mins read
WRC star Sébastien Ogier doesn’t have much interest in emulating Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz by tackling the Dakar Rally.
FIA World Rally Championship

Kim Vatanen: 1972–2024

1 Mins read
Kim Vatanen, son of Dakar and WRC legend Ari Vatanen and the manager for drivers like Sébastien Ogier and Craig Breen, died at age 51 after a battle with cancer.
DakarFIA World Rally Championship

Kenjiro Shinozuka, 1948–2024

1 Mins read
Kenjiro Shinozuka, the 1997 Paris–Dakar Rally victor and 2× World Rally Championship race winner, died Monday morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75.