|Tuesday, 18 April 2017, 16:09 HKT/SGT|
Toyota City, Japan, Apr 18, 2017 - (JCN Newswire) - TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team test driver Esapekka Lappi and his co-driver Janne Ferm will make their first appearances at the top level of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) on Rally de Portugal in May.
Lappi will join his team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hanninen in the squad for the May 19-21 event, driving a third Yaris WRC at the start of a limited programme of WRC rounds, which will be selected according to development requirements.
Janne Ferm, Esapekka Lappi
The car has performed well since its debut on Rallye Monte-Carlo, and was driven to victory by Latvala on just its second event in Sweden in February, but TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is continuing to learn during the first season of the WRC project. With the team having collected plenty of data from the previous events, adding a third car when needed will help to accelerate the development of the Yaris WRC.
Lappi, who is one of the brightest prospects in rallying and last year won the WRC 2 title, joined TOYOTA GAZOO Racing prior to the 2017 season and has got to know the Yaris WRC well during testing. Through real competition, the 26-year-old Finn will be able to gain further experience to keep him match-fit.
Tommi Makinen (Team Principal)
"Esapekka is a very young and very hungry driver, this is for sure, but of course he has not had so much time to test the car before his first rally. I know that he will do his best, and the objective for him personally is the same as the objective for the whole team: he needs to finish the rallies and collect as much information as possible. There is still a lot of progress that we can make with our car and he is going to be an important part of that development process. Of course, you learn a lot from testing on your own but you learn even more from real competition against everyone else when that is part of a testing programme, which is why we have made this decision to run Esapekka and Janne on some rallies this year. It is good to give some young boys a chance as well."
Esapekka Lappi (Test Driver)
"This is the moment I have been working for all of my life: it is an amazing opportunity to drive a World Rally Car and I am so happy. I actually first met Tommi and Mr Toyoda together on Rally Finland in 2014, just to say hello, but I had no idea back then that I would end up driving for them now! I have not had a lot of testing with Yaris WRC so I will need to build my experience as it is a very big step up from R5. For Janne too, there will be plenty to get used to, as the pace notes are coming so much faster! But step by step we will all learn together. My goal is to try and get to the finish of the rallies without issues. If you can do that, then you always have a good chance of scoring some points."
Esapekka Lappi Highlights
Date of birth: 17 January 1991
Age: 26 years old
2007: Karting Finnish Champion
2008: Rally sprint (won all the rounds)
2009: First rally 2011: First WRC rally (Rally Finland, Rookie of the Year award) 2012: Finnish Rally Champion (won all the rounds)
2013: First WRC 2 victory in Vodafone Rally de Portugal
2014: FIA ERC Champion
2016: WRC 2 World Rally Champion (5 wins)
WRC 2 Statistics
WRC 2 starts: 17, Victories: 7, Podiums: 11, Points scored: 245, Stage wins: 126
Supported by people around the world, Toyota Motor Corporation (TSE: 7203; NYSE: TM), has endeavored since its establishment in 1937 to serve society by creating better products. As of the end of December 2016, Toyota conducts its business worldwide with 52 overseas manufacturing companies in 27 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com.
Public Affairs Division
Global Communications Department
Toyota Motor Corporation
Apr 18, 2017 16:09 HKT/SGT
Topic: Press release summary
From the Asia Corporate News Network
Copyright © 2017 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.
|Nov 20, 2017 08:28 HKT/SGT|
Strong Performance of Toyota Yaris WRC Goes Unrewarded in Australia|
|Nov 20, 2017 08:17 HKT/SGT|
Toyota GAZOO Racing Wins in Bahrain|
|Nov 17, 2017 16:36 HKT/SGT|
Toyota and Suzuki Conclude Memorandum on EV Introduction in India|
|Nov 17, 2017 10:09 HKT/SGT|
Toyota Accelerates Electrification Initiatives in China|
|Nov 15, 2017 16:47 HKT/SGT|
Toyota Announces Selection of Recipients of the 2017 Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program|
|Nov 14, 2017 08:47 HKT/SGT|
Toyota: Hydrogen Could Contribute to 20% of CO2 Emissions Reduction Targets by 2050|
|Nov 13, 2017 19:28 HKT/SGT|
Toyota GAZOO Racing Braced for Bahrain Battle|
|Nov 10, 2017 17:08 HKT/SGT|
Rally Australia: Preview|
|Nov 8, 2017 14:12 HKT/SGT|
First Driving Behavior-based Telematics Automobile Insurance Developed for Toyota Connected Cars in Japan|
|Nov 7, 2017 14:30 HKT/SGT|
Toyota Announces April-September 2017 Financial Results|
|More news >>|