Toyota has returned to World Rally headlines, with its Yaris WRC taking victory in Sweden.
The 2017 season’s second round saw Jari-Matti Latvala win, and take the championship lead, after Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville lost a significant lead when he damaged his car during Saturday night’s Super Special Stage.
It’s Toyota’s first WRC win since 1999, and the first under new team boss Tommi Makinen. Latvala and Neuville had been close for much of the rally, so Toyota’s Finnish driver – yep, another flying Finn – was a worthy inheritor of the rally lead. Both notched up six stage wins over the rally weekend, but Latvala’s were most crucial.
Estonian Ott Tanak and Frenchman Sebastien Ogier rounded out the WRC podium, both in Ford Fiestas. The forests were full of exuberant (i.e. drunk) Tanak fans, and some storming stage wins on Saturday set up a wholly deserved second-place. He’s one to watch this year among more familiar opposition.
Rally Sweden is one with a huge following, and despite temperatures plummeting well into minus double figures, families dressed in brightly coloured ski gear filled the forests.
Nowhere is this more obvious than at Colin’s Crest, the most famous jump of the rally, named after Colin McRae. Of course.
A stadium atmosphere sees an announcer gee up the freezing fans and count down to each car’s arrival, totting up how many metres the car hangs in mid-air for. Did this year see the 45m record beaten? Click on to find out…
Images: Red Bull Content Pool