Toyota boss: Ott Tänak to be presented with championship-winning Yaris
Rally star Ott Tänak is to be gifted the Toyota Yaris he won the 2019 WRC championship in, team boss and former driver Jari-Matti Latvala says.
Latvala told Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat about the deal, which will also see this year's champion, veteran driver Sebastien Ogier, receive a WRC Yaris, along with Latvala's predecessor, Tommi Mäkinen.
Tänak promptly left Toyota after winning the 2019 title and moved to Hyundai, but has yet to recapture the success enjoyed with his previous team.
Toyota has a total of 14 WRC Yarises, including the three to be given to Tänak, Ogier and Mäkinen.
Latvala said that his first season as Toyota's lead driver had gone better than expected, while now fellow veteran and eight-time world champion Ogier will be taking part in five WRC races, he said.
WRC seasons start in January and finish in November, leaving only a few weeks' turnaround time in between seasons.
Next season, which starts in as per tradition in Monte Carlo in the penultimate week of January, will be the first under the new hybrid rules. Tänak has also gained experience in the Hyundai i20 updated for the 2022 season.
Tänak clinched the 2019 drivers' title, his compatriot Martin Järveoja the co-drivers' prize, in the penultimate race of the 2019 season in Spain (in the event it turned out to be the last race of the season in any case – the season-ending Australian rally was canceled due to forest fires).
Latvala is the most successful WRC driver by race wins (WRC) who has not won a championship, and also set the record for number of starts, in 2019.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte