Toyota made their eagerly anticipated return to the World Rally Championship on Wednesday evening as their drivers, Juho Hanninen and Jari Matti-Latvala put the brand new Yaris WRC car through its paces on the shakedown stage at the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo.
Speaking following the shakedown test, Latvala commented by saying:
I was happy with how our shakedown went but I know it will be a tough rally ahead: I don’t think I have ever seen so much snow and ice on a Monte-Carlo recce before. It’s a very nice feeling to finally get the season underway now after so much hard work and anticipation. For the final runs of shakedown, we were driving in conditions where it was getting dark, which hopefully can help to prepare us for the two night stages tomorrow, where I think it will be very slippery.
Hanninen commented on his stage by saying:
I said to Kaj at the end of the first run of the shakedown that I felt a bit like I was driving on my very first rally, this really feels like an exciting new beginning for me. The shakedown stage was quite difficult so we made sure to be careful, and like Jari-Matti we only used the snow tyres to keep our studded tyres for the rally. The feeling with the car is good and now we just have to wait for tomorrow to come.
Toyota Gazoo Racing Chief Engineer, Tom Fowler commented by saying:
The shakedown was basically just a systems check and as a result of that we’ve done some fine-tuning in the cockpit, so to be doing only that sort of detail work is definitely a positive sign. Both the drivers are happy with the car and we’ve not had to make any major changes. The final run was done in the dark, so this was a good opportunity for the drivers to set their lights for tomorrow’s stages.