Excited to see Toyota returning to the realms of World Rally Championship? It seems that Toyota is trying their best to not disappoint their fans as they had just given the Toyota WRC team principal position to Finnish rally legend and winner of four WRC title, Tommi Makinen. The team will be competing under the Toyota Gazoo Racing flag and led by Toyota scion Akio Toyoda.
The confirmation of Toyota’s return was announced earlier in January and this is Toyota’s first return after their exit from the sport in 1999. Tommi Makinen was not affiliated with Toyota back then as he was kicking up dirt and dust for rival Mitsubishi and even ended up winning his fourth consecutive WRC title in a Lancer Evolution.
It is too bad that we will not be seeing Makinen in action with the new Yaris subcompact, but he will definitely be lending a hand in its development stage. Makinen had actually helped Toyota in a number of occasions which includes developing the all-wheel drive version of an 86 to familiarize Toyoda with the basics of rallying.
“I first met Tommi in 2013. At that time he was my instructor, helping me improve my driving technique, but in the end, he taught me a lot more; he showed me the appeal of rallying and the relationship between vehicle development and rallying,” said Toyoda.