Four-time World Rally champion Tommi Makinen will be Toyota's team principal when the Japanese manufacturer makes its return to the WRC in 2017. Toyota, which won four drivers' and three manufacturers' titles in the 1990s, will make its return to the championship with a Yaris WRC. The company's president Akio Toyoda will serve as team chairman. Makinen, world champion in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, will oversee the sporting side of the team. The 51-year-old Finn, who never drove for Toyota during his career, retired from competition at the end of the 2003 season. "Tommi has abundant experience and fresh ideas for vehicle development, both of which will be valuable assets to us," said Toyoda. "After talking to Tommi, I felt: 'I want to work with him; I want him to help us make better cars,' and that's how I came to ask for his support with this project. "With Tommi behind us, Toyota will forge ahead with our return to WRC and also our efforts to make ever-better cars."