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Toyota to field WRC stars Rovanpera and Evans in Finland test rally

World rally champion Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans will contest the Hyacenter Rally next week to prepare for the World Rally Championship’s visit to Finland next month.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

WRC teams have elected to enter local rallies this season following the FIA's decision to implement new testing restrictions to clamp down on costs.

As a result, manufacturer teams are limited to 21 days - a maximum of seven per driver - instead of 28 as stipulated last year.

Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford have all chosen to enter their Rally1 machines in national rallies this year to recover the lost test mileage.

However, up until now, Toyota has only participated in a local rally once when it fielded Takamoto Katsuta in the Kuopio round of the Finnish Rally Championship in February, prior to Rally Sweden.

The reigning world champion squad has now decided to enter its lead drivers Rovanpera and Evans into the Hyacenter Rally, held in Tampere, Finland, across 28-29 July, one week after this weekend's WRC round in Estonia and just a matter of days before the start of Rally Finland.

M-Sport has also entered Ott Tanak into the event, which would mark the Estonian's third national rally start in a Ford Puma Rally1 this year.

The 2019 world rally champion has completed outings in Otepaa, Estonia in February, followed by a run at Belgium's Rally Ardennes in March and Estonia's Louna-Eesti Rally earlier this month.

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

It will mean Rovanpera, Evans and Tanak will conduct three rallies in consecutive weekends behind the wheel of the Toyota GR Yaris and Puma, respectively.

The Hyacenter Rally will see competitors tackle eight stages comprising 80 kilometres with some of the roads used in previous editions of Rally Finland.

The event will act as ideal preparation for Rally Finland, the Toyota team's home round of the world championship.

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Last year Toyota missed out on victory on home soil following a masterful display from Tanak, who denied Rovanpera victory.

Toyota will field four cars at the round this year with team boss Jari-Matti Latvala coming out of retirement to drive a GR Yaris in competition for the first time.

Latvala is set to conduct a pre-event test before the rally after logging his first stage kilometres in the car at last weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

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