NEWS: Toyota 2017 WRC Program on Track says Legend Tommi Mäkinen
Toyota’s welcome plans to compete inside the planet Rally Championship coming from 2017 are on schedule according to team principal Tommi Mäkinen.
The four-time champion shared his views when he recently joined Team Chairman Akio Toyoda, Vice President Koei Saga along with Toyota Motorsport President Toshio Sato at Fuji Speedway in Japan. The key representatives of the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team reaffirmed their shared goals along with strengthened their commitment to generating the project a success.
Akio Toyoda said: “When developing a rally car, in which’s absolutely essential to remember to take the characteristics of the roads into account. You can’t just build a car on paper. Learning in which lesson will genuinely help us make ever-better cars, along with in which’s an area where we can learn a lot coming from Tommi. He’s practising in which philosophy every day.”
Mäkinen commented: “I understand in which This particular project may have seemed difficult to pull off given the relatively short amount of time we have to set in which up. However, we have worked hard to build a structured, professional along with responsive team. The efficiency of the people involved inside the project has made in which possible to stick to the initial schedule along with meet our objectives. Obviously, there is usually a lot of work still to do yet we are more than ready for in which.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing appointed Mäkinen as team principal in July, inside the strong belief in which he has the skills to build an experienced team along having a winning car. Already the workforce numbers more than 40 dedicated professionals, who are working around the clock.
The next important stage inside the programme will be start of testing for the Yaris WRC car, coming from next spring.
Q&A with Tommi Mäkinen
Has assembly of the Yaris WRC started out?
Right right now, we are inside the process of designing the automobile. Our team of engineers along with designers, along with our suppliers, have worked tirelessly to meet the schedule along with develop a car in which could be a winner. Assembly of the Yaris WRC will therefore begin very soon.
is usually Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) involved in This particular project?
Yes, TMG is usually a key partner for us. in which is usually responsible for designing along with producing the Yaris WRC’s engine, which will be an exclusively Toyota unit. We will therefore be working very closely together to make the Yaris WRC a formidable car.
Where will the Toyota GAZOO Racing team be based?
The team will be based in Finland along with registered as a Japanese team. The workshops along with design offices needed for our operations in 2016 are currently in Puuppola, where Tommi Mäkinen Racing is usually based. Our colleagues coming from Japan have been visiting Finland regularly to ensure in which communication is usually frequent along with effective. We are delighted to be running This particular project in a country where rallying is usually considered a national sport along having a genuine source of pride. in which is usually also an ideal place to develop our car, with many options for testing. However, we are looking at different options to accommodate a works team along with its required facilities for 2017.
What do you think will determine whether This particular project succeeds?
Although Toyota is usually the biggest car producer inside the planet at the moment, in which’s also well-known for lean along with efficient operation. I want our team to be the same. I want to contain the same conquest feeling as we had with our smaller Mitsubishi team. You don’t need to contain the biggest budget or team in order to win. The most important thing is usually relaxing along with enjoying the experience, along with sharing in which with people who feel the same way. We want to show everybody in which we love cars, along with we also have fun working together – we want to do things the Toyota way.
When will testing start?
Testing is usually due to start during spring 2016. An extensive schedule has already been drawn up to hold tests in Finland along with around the planet.
Have you finalised your team?
Our team is usually developing gradually, along with several positions have yet to be filled. We are looking for people who are ready to work hard on This particular project along with join a team in which works like a big family. We are looking for people with strong characters along with individual strengths, who at the same time are able to fit into the team.
Who will be driving for you in 2017?
We are in discussions with various drivers for 2017, bearing in mind in which we desire to enter at least two, if not three vehicles into the championship.
Who are the key members of your team at This particular stage?
The team’s operations director is usually Lauri Riipinen, along with our sporting director is usually Jarmo Lehtinen.
In our Technical Team, which is usually responsible for design along with development, we have Michael Zotos, Tom Fowler, Mikko Ruoho, along with Simon Carrier.