Esapekka Lappi: the talented youngster appointed as test driver
Newly-crowned WRC 2 World Rally Champion, the young Finnish driver has impressed with his turn of speed, his calmness and his ability to adapt. After cutting his teeth in R5 category cars in the European Rally Championship and developing his skills on the world stage in the WRC 2 Championship, the Finnish driver is now ready to take on a new challenge. He will be appointed as test driver for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC team.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my co-driver Janne Ferm. It’s a dream come true. We have both worked so hard over the years to get to this point and finally, it’s here. We’re excited and motivated about joining the team, and we’re extremely grateful for this opportunity. I can’t wait to start our testing program together with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and the Yaris WRC.”
THE YARIS WRC: A NEW GENERATION OF WORLD RALLY CARS
The Yaris WRC has been developed complying with the requirements of the FIA technical regulations for the 2017 season, and it is part of the new generation of World Rally Cars that will add a new dimension to the sport’s top-flight category in upcoming seasons. Equipped with a 1.6-litre direct injection engine, it has 380 horsepower under the bonnet and impressive design thanks to the freedom allowed by the regulations in terms of aerodynamics.
The Yaris WRC has been designed, built and developed by a team of experienced engineers made up of Tom Fowler, Simon Carrier and Mikko Ruoho.
“The Yaris WRC is a well-designed car with incredible potential,” revealed Tommi Mäkinen, Team Principal of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC. “The new regulations allow for much greater freedom in terms of development. Although we have yet to explore all the possibilities, we can say that the car is reliable and quick. I really can’t wait to see the results in racing conditions.”
A TEAM OF COMPLEMENTARY DRIVERS FOR THE FIRST SEASON
Two Yaris WRCs, driven by Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hänninen, will contest the opening round of the World Rally Championship in Monte-Carlo on 19 January of next year. Esapekka Lappi, Finnish young driver who won the WRC 2 Championship this year, will also join the team through the season as a test driver.