Jari-Matti Latvala's return race to the World Rally Championship ended tragically in mid-February when a Finnish driver driving a toy car leased from Toyo interrupted the Swedish Starboard opening day.
Latvala's rental car had a problem with another special attempt, and the top drivers ran away. Latvala's big screen went completely wrong.
Participation in the Swedish rally cost Latvala up to EUR 200,000-300,000, of which about half has said that it has paid for itself. The suspension was also a huge disappointment.
However, the money was not lost, as Toyota bosses have now decided to lend Latvala a car for free to the Sardinian rally in early June as compensation for the interruption of the Swedish rally.
- Our own injury led to the suspension of Jari-Mat in the Swedish Rally. Of course we'll replace it. Jari-Matti is now driving another race to replace a failed rally. That's pretty clear, Tommi Mäkinen, Toyota's team manager, confirms to IS.
Toyota's handshake to Latvala is worth hundreds of thousands of euros. On the Rallit.fi website, Latvala estimates that he will only have to pay some logistical costs.
- In fact, the details have not yet been precisely agreed. I'll probably have some logistical costs, but nothing about the race car, Latvala said.
Sardinia fits Latvala's driving style
According to Mäkinen, the main power cable of Latvala's car was lost at the Swedish rally.
- There was an installation error and the protection was defective. The main power cable problems caused the car to malfunction, says Mäkinen.
Mäkinen believes that the Sardinian rally is better suited to Latva than the Swedish rally in difficult conditions.
- The conditions of the Swedish Rally favor a delicate and soft driving style. As we know, Jari-Mat's driving style is a bit smoother.
The next World Rally Championship will be in Mexico and Argentina.
Latvala will also participate in the Jyväskylä World Championship in August with a Toyota rental car. He also does PR and marketing work for Toyota and tests Toyota's serial production model Yaris GR4.
Read more: Loyalty rewarded - Jari-Matti Latvala got a job