Formula 1
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
MotoGP
04 Oct
-
06 Oct
Event finished
18 Oct
-
20 Oct
FP3 in
11 Hours
:
50 Minutes
:
30 Seconds
NASCAR Cup
11 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
18 Oct
-
20 Oct
First Practice in
06 Hours
:
05 Minutes
:
30 Seconds
Kart IndyCar
30 Aug
-
01 Sep
Event finished
20 Sep
-
22 Sep
Event finished
WEC
04 Oct
-
06 Oct
Event finished
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
FP1 in
20 days
Supercars
10 Oct
-
13 Oct
Event finished
R
Surfers Paradise
25 Oct
-
27 Oct
Next event in
6 days
Formula E
R
Ad Diriyah E-prix
22 Nov
-
23 Nov
Next event in
34 days
R
Santiago E-prix
17 Jan
-
18 Jan
Next event in
90 days

Toyota announces Meeke for 2019 WRC season

shares
comments
Toyota announces Meeke for 2019 WRC season
By:
Oct 17, 2018, 8:01 AM

Toyota has confirmed Kris Meeke in its line-up for the 2019 World Rally Championship season.

The Finnish-based squad communicated Meeke’s signing on Wednesday morning, while Jari-Matti Latvala will also remain in a factory Yaris WRC alongside Ott Tanak, who was already under contract.

Meeke effectively replaces Esapekka Lappi, who has been announced as Sebastien Ogier's teammate at Citroen in 2019.

“It’s a huge pleasure and honour for me to become a Toyota driver,” said Meeke, who drove the Yaris WRC in Finland on Tuesday.

“I’d like to thank [Toyota Motor Corporation president] Akio Toyoda, [team principal] Tommi Makinen and the entire Toyota team for their faith in me.

“Three years ago, we first discussed the possibility of me joining the team and I’m so happy that it’s finally happened now.”

Despite having been absent from the WRC since losing his Citroen drive after May's Rally Portugal, Meeke has followed the fortunes of Toyota, watching as Tanak put together a hat-trick of summer wins and dominated the early running on Wales Rally GB earlier this month.

Meeke added: “The performance of the Yaris WRC speaks for itself, but the team spirit here is incredible at every level, also with the Japanese culture of honour and respect.

"I can’t wait to get started. I’ve got no particular objectives other than to enjoy my driving again and help Toyota to win a championship.”

The five-time WRC winner talked of his career coming full circle, adding: “The very first championship I won was actually when I was 16 and co-driving for my brother on our local road rally championship.

"We clinched that title in a Toyota Corolla, so for very many reasons, it feels incredibly good to be here. I can’t think of a better place to be.

Makinen admitted it wasn’t just Meeke’s speed that made him irresistible, but also his ability to develop the car further.

“We are all very excited to have Kris joining us here at Toyota Gazoo Racing,” said Makinen. “We know he is very fast, but he also brings a lot of experience.

"His technical understanding is at a really high level and I believe he can provide new knowledge and ideas to help us in our aim to keep making the Yaris WRC better.

“I am also very pleased that Jari-Matti will continue to be part of our team. He has done some brilliant work for us and has recently been regularly on the podium again, which has been very important.

“Together with Ott, who has proven that he is absolutely one of the fastest drivers right now, I think we have a very strong line-up for next year, with three drivers who are all quick, experienced and can win rallies.

"I believe we will again have a strong team to fight for both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles.” 

2019 WRC line-up so far:

Team Drivers
Citroen

France Sebastien Ogier

Finland Esapekka Lappi

Hyundai Belgium Thierry Neuville
TBC
Toyota

Estonia Ott Tanak

Finland Jari-Matti Latvala

United Kingdom Kris Meeke

M-Sport Ford

Finland Teemu Suninen

TBC

Next article
Meeke splits with co-driver Nagle

Previous article

Meeke splits with co-driver Nagle

Next article

Citroen signs Lappi from Toyota

Citroen signs Lappi from Toyota
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Kris Meeke
Teams Toyota Racing
Author David Evans