Toyota Gazoo Racing Brought Tommi Makinen to Orchestrate Their WRC Comeback

Whoever said the only thing constant in life is change was absolutely right, but we can apply that in motorsport as well, where teams have to adapt from one season to another no matter what competition they are challenging for.
Mr. Toyoda and Tommi Makinen 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
Gazoo Racing makes no exception and truth be told, big changes are happening under their roof. For starters, Toyota Racing and Lexus Racing will be united under the Gazoo Racing brand, but with a twist.

For example, Toyota will participate in races and rally competitions under the team name Toyota Gazoo Racing while Lexus will take part in races such as Super GT with branded cars wearing the Lexus Gazoo Racing logo.

But the bigger news is not about who will be racing or what decals will the car wear as four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Mãkinen has been appointed Team Principal for Toyota Gazoo Racing’s World Rally Championship campaign.

To us, this is an invaluable addition to Gazoo Racing's staff for one but absolute reason: who is better at deciphering motorsport and who knows its twisted ways better than someone whose blood is mixed with gasoline?

The 51-year-old Finn will lead the team as it prepares the Yaris WRC for its competition debut in 2017 while Toyota President Akio Toyoda will serve as team chairman.

"Tommi has abundant experience and fresh ideas for vehicle development, both of which will be valuable assets to us. With Tommi behind us, Toyota will forge ahead with our return to the WRC and also our efforts to make ever better cars," said Mr. Toyoda.

Just to have a glimpse at Tomi Makinen's stellar career, please note that he won 24 WRC rallies during his 18-year driving career, including four consecutive drivers’ titles with Mitsubishi between 1996 and 1999.

Also, he went on to drive for Subaru with further success in 2002 and retired from the championship in 2003 so if he's not the man for the job, we don't know who is.
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