Toyota WRT and its five-star line-up have been training in Spain since Thursday. The Japanese team is now focusing all of its energy in preparing for the third appointment of the WRC 2020 calendar, the Mexican Rally, which is due to take place from the 12th to the 15th of March.
For another year, the location chosen to put their World Rally Championship machines to the test has been the province of Andalusia in Spain. More specifically, the Japanese squad is training in the municipality of Félix, within the region of Almería and 37 kilometres northwest of its capital.
The terrain and climate of this particular part of the world are very similar to those that they are going to find in three weeks time in Guanajuato, reasons why this is one of the team’s favourite training spots. Those similarities, together with the impossibility of training outside of Europe, makes Félix the best possible site to train before the upcoming Mexican Rally.
Test day Rally México – Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia & Benjamin Veillas
Publiée par Christophe Pigot sur Jeudi 20 février 2020
On this occasion, the first Toyota WRT driver to jump onto the sand – quite literally – was Sébastien Ogier. The racer from Gap completed an intense day of training on Thursday on board his Japanese missile.
These training sessions are essential to fine-tune the cars as well as for the competitors to acclimatise to the new conditions. Let’s not forget that they will be swapping the snow, ice and mud of Sweden with the dry dust tracks.
The French six-time-champion would want to make up for what happened in Sweden at the earliest opportunity. Back then, he was defeated by his rookie teammate, Kalle Rovanperä, who prevented him from climbing up the podium by just three seconds.
In fact, one only has to have a look at the footage of his training in Andalusia to see he is giving it all he has. The Frenchman of Toyota WRT is really speeding up the process of adapting to his new car, with which he will compete for the first time on soil tracks.
It is precisely his rival at the Scandinavian rally, Rovanperä, which has replaced him in Spain a few days later. The prodigy child of Tommi Mäkinen has gone through a full day of training last Saturday on the same Andalusian spot.
If for the second most successful rally driver in history it is still essential to get a good amount of kilometres under your belt every time you compete with a new car, even more so for the most talented rookie of the WRC, Kalle Rovanperä.
As for Elfyn Evans, third member of Toyota WRT and co-leader of the standings with Thierry Neuville, he is expected in Spain this very Sunday or Monday at the latest. Toyota is obviously trying to keep up with the level they reached on the last appointment of the WRC in Sweden. It was then that Elfyn Evans became the first-ever Briton to win the Scandinavian test.
His teammate Kalle Rovanperä also beat another record in Sweden, that of the youngest driver to get a podium on his second ever participation in a top league race of the WRC. He has thus dethroned Sebastien Ogier, who only got to uncork the champagne after three races. The young Finnish debutant also became the youngest rally driver to ever win a Power Stage.
Images of Toyota WRT : You Tube