The Japanese squad heads into the 2024 season as the reigning manufacturers’ champions after its GR Yaris won nine of 13 events last year.
While the Toyota was the car to beat last year, it wasn’t completely bulletproof. However, the team is expected to roll out upgrades to further improve the GR Yaris in certain areas for the 2024 campaign, which begins in Monte Carlo later this month.
Last month, Toyota unveiled its new-look GR Yaris, which features an all-new matte black livery. The team has faced a busy off-season preparing its new Rally2 version of the GR Yaris, that is also set to make its WRC debut in Monte Carlo from 25-28 January.
“These days there are quite a limited amount of [homologation] jokers, so there are no big things you can do over the season,” Latvala told Motorsport.com.
“But of course, there are some areas where we need to do some work, but there is nothing too dramatic [for 2024 on the car], which is a help as of course we have a Rally2 programme for the team and those first cars will be appearing in Monte Carlo. In that sense Rally1 is in a good balance at the moment.”
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
Jari-Matti Latvala, Team principal Toyota Gazoo Racing
Speaking to Motorsport.com last year, Toyota technical director Tom Fowler says the team is constantly trying to evolve its car to maintain an advantage over its main rival Hyundai, which is expected to unveil a raft of upgrades to its i20 N this year.
“I think we are in quite a good situation where we don’t have something you would have to define specifically as a weakness that needs emergency attention, but of course there are still things we would like to improve,” he said.
“We have a plan for next season already in place to bring some upgrades. For sure, we see that the main situation now is generally an uncomfortable performance compared to Hyundai at the moment, in the sense that in every type of condition we are very close.
“It is fair to say you never know at which rally which will be the best-performing car between the Toyota and the Hyundai. We want to change that.”
Toyota is expected to field entries for Elfyn Evans, Takamoto Katsuta and Sebastien Ogier at the season opener.