Jari-Matti Latvala Joins Toyota World Rally Team As Team Principal

Jari-Matti Latvala

Sebastien Ogier has signed on for another year with Toyota World Rally Team and will once again line up alongside Elfyn Evans, the 2020 championship runner-up, and exciting young talent Kalle Rovanperä.

Completing this squad of expert drivers is a new Team Principal: Jari-Matti Latvala. The most experienced driver in the history of the WRC, Latvala has been appointed to succeed Tommi Mäkinen, who takes up the role of Motorsport Advisor to Toyota from January 2021.

Latvala has been selected by Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, to bring a driver’s perspective to a management team that also includes Yuichiro Haruna, Project Director; Kaj Lindström, Sporting Director; and Tom Fowler, Technical Director.

A winner of 18 rounds of the WRC, Latvala has been part of the story of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team since its debut in 2017. After joining the team he played a crucial role in the development of the Toyota Yaris WRC in weeks before its competitive debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo – where he finished second overall. He then claimed the team’s first victory in the following event, Rally Sweden. His win on Rally Australia at the end of 2018 helped to secure the manufacturers’ championship for Toyota.

As well as being one of rallying’s most popular drivers, Latvala is known for his enthusiasm of the sport, and even maintains and competes in classic Toyota rally cars. During 2020, he has served as an ambassador for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing around the world, something that will continue in his new role as Team Principal.

He will also bring his knowledge and understanding of what a top rally driver requires from a car and from a team. His recent and extensive experience of competing at the front of the WRC will be particularly valuable for the team’s young drivers; namely Rovanperä and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta.