The Japanese manufacturer is chasing a Rally Sweden hat trick and a fourth win in five starts in the nation’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, which leaves its traditional Värmland base to move north to Umeå for the first time.
Current team manager Jari-Matti Latvala took home Toyota’s first win only in the second rally in WRC return 2017. Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans added further victories in 2019 and 2020 before last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.
The rally marks Esapekka Lappi’s return to the factory team for the first time since 2018 and the Finn joined teammates Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanperä and next generation lawyer Takamoto Katsuta for their final preparations last week.
“The test was successful,” Fowler said. “We tested in Finland after [Rallye] Monte-Carlo and it was the first time we drove the full hybrid car in cold conditions.
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“The [Finand test] was OK, we had no problems. Obviously there was some trimming work to do, some adjustment, but nothing dramatic. We tested in temperatures between 0 ° C and -10 ° C, I think it is a representative window for what we will work with next week.
– The Finland test was not entirely ideal in terms of conditions – we have had a lot of snow in Finland recently and there was a lot on that test. It was not ideal for a performance test. “
Sweden provided drier conditions and a change to connect Yaris Rally1 to what is needed for round two.
“We did our four days in Sweden and everything went smoothly,” added Fowler. “It was good to have Esapekka back in the car – we made good progress.”