COFFS COAST (NSW) – Jari-Matti Latvala says Toyota has solved a suspension issue and is ready to end its return to the WRC on a high note at Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
(PHOTO: LATVALA on Shakedown(Jeremey Rogers Photography))
Toyota showed tremendous promise in its return as a factory concern to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 1999 early this season.
Team leader Latvala found himself surprisingly at the front of the championship after the first two events earlier this year but the Yaris-based machine has since suffered a bumpy ride.
The 32-year-old Finn remains confident he can launch a serious attack on the closing round to the 2017 WRC at Coffs Harbour.
“I was complaining about the traction in Wales so we have realised something in the suspension,” Latvala revealed in a pre-event media conference today.
“It’s difficult to explain. I think I need a drawing (to show).
“It’s a long time ago since we have been in the press conference. It was back in Finland in July.
“I feel confident again. I think we have found out why we have been struggling in the last two events.
“Generally speaking it’s been a good year. We had an amazing start to the season leading the championship after Sweden.
“I knew that after spring time it would be tough with some difficult events coming up.
“We had some temperature issues in Mexico and Argentina.
“Then we started to taste some technical issues which you would expect would happen during the year.
“The main thing is we are learning from them.
“It would be really nice to finish the season with a good result.”
Latvala has labelled the opening six tests in the forest on Friday – which are all new – as the most important stage of Rally Australia.
“I think that Friday is the most important day of this rally. You have to get it right,” Latvala said.
“Saturday is the long Nambucca stage, but everybody knows it so well. It’s the same as it has been since 2013 so it’s difficult to make differences all the time.
“It’s normally the new stages where you can make the differences.”
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