Tänak Joins Toyota World Rally Team for 2018
Toyota has confirmed it will mount a three-car assault for the entire 2018 World Rally Championship after announcing it has secured the services of leading driver Ott Tänak.
The 30-year-old Estonian will drive a Yaris WRC next year, debuting for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team from the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Tänak has been one of the outstanding performers in this year's championship, winning two events and sitting second in the world championship standings. He will be joined by his co-driver, Martin Jarveoja.
The Toyota team will also be represented by Jari-Matti Latvala and co-driver Miika Anttilla who have won two events this year and the pairing of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm who were victorious in Finland.
Kaj Lindström, currently co-driver for Juho Hänninen, is taking on a new role as the team's sporting director, from this year's Rally Australia.
Team principal Tommi Makinen said: "We're delighted to have secured Ott's services, having had our eyes on him for a while. He represents a perfect blend of youth and experience, together with the right sort of mental attitude, which means he will fit into our team very well.
"I'd also like to congratulate Kaj on his new role. I know that he is the ultimate professional is sure to be a strong asset as we continue our team's development.
"Finally, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for everything that Juho has done for is. He will always be a member of our family and has played an important part in taking us to where we are today."
Profile: Ott Tänak
Date of birth: 15 October 1987
2008 Estonian Rally Champion
2009 Estonian Rally Champion
2009 First WRC rally
2010 European Pirelli Star Driver
2011 2nd overall FIA SWRC Championship (3 wins)
2017 First WRC win, Rally Sardinia, second win in Rally Germany
Points scored 379
Stage Wins 73
Toyota motorsport: In 2017, Toyota marks the 60th anniversary of its first international motorsport entry (and the first by a Japanese car manufacturer), when it contested the 1957 Round Australia Trial. This is why many people consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsport. Today, Toyota contests the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship which features the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the gruelling Dakar Rally. Closer to home, the Toyota 86 Racing Series seeks to develop the talent of tomorrow as Australia's premier grassroots circuit-racing category. Toyota also supports the Neal Bates Motorsport team in the Australian Rally Championship.