Technical director Zotos quits Toyota's 2017 WRC project

The technical director of Toyota's new World Rally Championship programme has parted company with the team

Technical director Zotos quits Toyota's 2017 WRC project

No official reason has been given for Michael Zotos's departure from Toyota Gazoo Racing.

But it is understood he was finding it hard to work with project chief Tommi Makinen on the development of the Yaris WRC, which makes its debut next year.

Toyota's sporting director Jarmo Lehtinen confirmed Zotos's departure, but said the split had been amicable and the Finnish-based team's work had not been compromised.

"Our philosophy has been that we have a core team looking after the technical director's job, not one person leading the project," said Lehtinen.

"We had to give job titles and Michael took this one, but his leaving is not a big drama.

"Of course, it's never nice and we're really happy with what he did, but I have no doubt that everything is still covered."

Zotos is understood to be one of three team members who have left Toyota recently.

The Yaris is expected to start asphalt testing in the next month before making its competitive debut in 2017.

For more on the situation at Toyota, including columnist COLIN CLARK's 'respectful warning' to Makinen, see this week's issue of our sister publication Motorsport News - on sale now

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