The new head of the World Rally Team Toyota, which in 2017 will return to the WRC after a 18-year absence, will be a four-time world champion Tommi Makinen, said the publication Autosport. Officially, the appointment of 51-year-old Finn, the Japanese manufacturer has to declare on July 7.
Mäkinen is currently managing his own motorsport company which is ready to race and rally sell Subaru group N. With the “Toyota”, he began to work in the past year – after helping the company president Akio Toyoda to build a four-wheel drive rally coupe version of Toyota GT86. The car, driven by Toyoda himself, made no contest Rally Finland. In addition, Mäkinen then took part in the preparation of a mini-version of GT86.
«Toyota” appeared in the World Rally Championship from 1973 to 1999, with breaks in 1996 and 1997. During the performances of Japanese pilots team won 43 races and four titles. Three times the team became the winner of set-off producers.
In 2017, riders will be performing on the hatchback Yaris, equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, whose output is 300 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque. The engine is combined with a six-speed sequential gearbox ZF. The base team will be located in Cologne, Germany.
Mäkinen became the world champion from 1996 to 1999. All four titles in the Finn won the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. In 2001, he joined the team Subaru, which finished racing career two seasons later.