Latvala admits Toyota's five-car WRC expansion a possibility

Toyota World Rally Championship boss Jari-Matti Latvala has hinted his team could expand to five cars later this season, but a final decision will be down to the Japanese manufacturer.

Latvala admits Toyota's five-car WRC expansion a possibility

Suggestions the factory Toyota squad could increase its entries have been rumbling on since the start of the new Rally1 hybrid campaign.

However, speculation the team could field five GR Yaris Rally1 cars at WRC events increased after the squad rolled out its new portable Service Park structure at Rally Croatia last weekend.

Since the start of the season, Toyota had been operating out of a temporary structure that could only house three cars with its fourth entry for Takamoto Katsuta operating out of an adjacent tent.

In Croatia the team introduced a larger building featuring five bays with Katsuta's entry moving in to take up the fourth bay.

Asked if there was anything to read into the upgraded building, Latvala told Autosport: "Let's see."

When pressed further on the matter, Latvala confirmed there is a chance the team could add an extra car at events but a decision is yet to be made.

"We have that possibility, basically in the second half of the season, but it is depending a lot on what Toyota wants to do," he added. "We don't know at this point if we are going to have it [a fifth car] or not so they [Toyota] will decide."

Toyota building overview

Toyota building overview

Photo by: Tom Howard

Toyota is fielding four cars at all 13 WRC events this season for Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera and Katsuta, alongside an entry shared by eight-time world champion Ogier and Esapekka Lappi.

Ogier is only conducting a limited programme, featuring as many as five rallies, alongside his World Endurance Championship commitments, while Lappi is expected to complete the majority of the season.

Read Also:

Should Toyota sign off an expansion to five cars it could see the team able to run Lappi and Ogier at events.

Toyota's rivals M-Sport is set to become the first team to run five Rally1 hybrid machines at Rally Portugal next month for regulars Craig Breen, Gus Greensmith, Adrien Fourmaux, Pierre-Louis Loubet and the returning nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb.

shares
comments

Related video

Gravel Notes Podcast: WRC Rally Croatia review
Previous article

Gravel Notes Podcast: WRC Rally Croatia review

Next article

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera
How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master Plus

How fired-up Ogier became the WRC's ultimate Monte master

He may only be contesting a part-time campaign in the World Rally Championship these days, but Sebastien Ogier underlined that he's lost none of his speed in the 2023 season opener. Storming to yet another victory on the Monte Carlo Rally, the eight-time world champion rewrote the history books again as Toyota served notice of its intentions with a crushing 1-2

WRC
Jan 23, 2023
How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling Plus

How Lancia pulled off its famous Monte Carlo giantkilling

Audi should have been invincible in the snowy conditions that typically greeted the World Rally Championship paddock in Monte Carlo. But unexpectedly warm weather for the 1983 season opener, combined with some left-field thinking from the Lancia crew turned the tables. Forty years on, team boss Cesare Fiorio reflects on a smash and grab

WRC
Jan 21, 2023
Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion Plus

Why M-Sport has pinned all its efforts on a WRC reunion

M-Sport had a disastrous 2022 with its Rally1 Ford Pumas following Sebastien Loeb’s first-time-out win on the Monte. But now things are looking up with 2019 world champion Ott Tanak leading its attack, and the Cumbrian operation has optimism that it can challenge for a first title since Sebastien Ogier's departure at the end of 2018

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown Plus

The contenders seeking to take Rovanpera's WRC crown

As Kalle Rovanpera begins his World Rally Championship title defence in Monte Carlo, the Finn knows he has a target on his back. But who is best placed to knock the Toyota ace off his perch?

WRC
Jan 19, 2023
Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title Plus

Why Rovanpera is anticipating a fight to defend his WRC title

Question: what could be harder than becoming the youngest-ever World Rally champion? Answer: becoming the youngest-ever two-time World Rally champion. That's quite the challenge facing Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera in 2022, particularly against rejuvenated opposition in the second year of the WRC's hybrid regulations

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing Plus

From F1 to WRC: Why Hyundai's new boss could be an inspired signing

OPINION: New Hyundai WRC team boss Cyril Abiteboul admits he’s got a lot to learn as he leads the marque's efforts to dethrone Toyota. But could his Formula 1 experience and evident strengths mean he turns out to be an inspired choice?

WRC
Jan 18, 2023
The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed Plus

The ultimate rally car project the WRC is glad COVID killed

Toyota was unstoppable in the 2021 World Rally Championship, with an excellent 75% strike rate from 12 rallies. But in a scary proposition for its rivals, the Japanese marque had built a car for the final year of the previous regulations set which it believes was much faster and could feasibly have crushed the opposition completely. Here the story of its mothballed world-beater

WRC
Jan 1, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022