Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has hinted that they could expand the team to a five-car entry for the team in the FIA World Rally Championship but the final decision have to be approved by the Toyota’s management in Japan.
Since the start of the new Rally1 hybrid era in WRC, there have been talks that the teams can expand their entries in rallies by adding more cars to its line-up, one of them that have done so is M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, which will be fielding five Ford Puma Rally1 cars in Portugal later this month.
Speculation about Toyota increased during Rally Croatia when the team arrived with the new portable service park structure which includes a larger building of five bays for the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 cars.
Previously the team have used a smaller temporary structure which could fit three out of the four cars used for the rallies, with Takamoto Katsuta’s car being operated in a tent.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, they asked Latvala about the potential five car entry in the future; “We have that possibility basically in the second half of the season but it is depending a lot on what Toyota wants to do, we don’t know at this point if we are going to have it [a fifth car] or not so they [Toyota] will decide.”
Currently Toyota is fielding three cars in the main factory team for Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans meanwhile the third car is shared by the reigning champion Sébastien Ogier for five rallies and Esapekka Lappi will do the remaining eight, with Katsuta is entered in a fourth car under the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG banner.
If a fifth car is considered to be added, it’s possible the team will be running both Ogier and Lappi on the same time.