Latvala appointed Toyota WRC team boss

Former World Rally Championship runner-up Jari-Matti Latvala has been appointed team principal of the Toyota Gazoo Racing squad, as the team confirmed its full 2021 line-up.

Latvala appointed Toyota WRC team boss

With Tommi Makinen stepping down as team boss at the end of the 2020 season to become Toyota’s motorsport advisor, Latvala will move into the team principal role having been selected by Toyota president Akio Toyoda.

Latvala will "bring a driver’s perspective” to its management team of project director Yuichiro Haruna, sporting director Kaj Lindstrom, and technical director Tom Fowler.

Toyota also confirmed an unchanged driver primary line-up of seven-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier, 2020 runner-up Elfyn Evans and rising star Kalle Rovanpera, while Takamoto Katsuta steps up to a full season in a fourth factory-entered Yaris WRC.

Last month, Ogier said he had delayed his WRC retirement plans to stick with Toyota for at least 2021.

Latvala, WRC runner-up in 2010, 2014 and 2015, joined Toyota in 2017 as one of its drivers on its return to the championship and produced a stunning start by finishing second in the Monte Carlo Rally opener and winning the second round in Sweden.

The 35-year-old Finn only stopped full-time WRC competition this year when he was shuffled out of Toyota's driver line-up but has acted as a team ambassador this year and is relishing his new role.

"I am really honoured to be taking on this position with the team, and by the trust that Akio Toyoda has shown in me," Latvala said. "I'm really excited to continue the work he started together with Tommi, having been a part of this team from the beginning as a driver."

"Now, as team principal, I have to see the bigger picture: I have to motivate everybody in the team to work together to achieve the best results. It's a new challenge and I'm up for it.

"Tommi has done a fantastic job with the team, building it up from zero and bringing the success that he has. There is always room for improvement and I want to use what I have learned over the years as a driver and work together with the team directors to make this team as successful as possible.

"The 2021 season is just around the corner but the entire package is already there within the team, with a proven car and the same strong driver line-up, and everybody knows what needs to be done to prepare for the Monte Carlo Rally in January."

shares
comments

Related video

Oliver Solberg lands two-year Hyundai deal
Previous article

Oliver Solberg lands two-year Hyundai deal

Next article

FIA confident Monte Carlo WRC opener can go ahead

FIA confident Monte Carlo WRC opener can go ahead
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Prime

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Prime

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, we pick out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Prime

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Prime

How Ogier emerged from Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Prime

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Prime

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Prime

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Motorsport.com went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021