Tommi Makinen leaves Toyota team leadership

The former world champion becomes a sports advisor for the brand, who moves his training from the World Cup from Finland to Cologne.


Major changes in the Toyota team. Tommi Makinen will leave the leadership of the World Rally Championship at the end of this season, and will become a sports consultant for the brand. A change that entails the transfer of the training headquarters from Finland to Cologne, to the brand's European headquarters for competition activities, from where the program of the 24 Hours of Le Mans team is also developed.

An announcement that has therefore surprised the trajectory of the World Rally Team has been meteoric, despite some contradictory decisions by Makinen. Under his baton and from the facilities located in Finland, they starred in the return of the brand to the specialty in 2017 with a triumph in the Rally Sweden, in 2018 they were awarded the brands title after achieving four victories and in 2019 they took that of pilots with Ott Tanak. In the current season they are leaders in both classifications with two of their men, Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier, leading the drivers category.

Makinen himself explained that “the objective of the project was to return to the World Rally Championship effectively with a flexible organization that only a small company can achieve. This goal has already been achieved and it is time to move on to new challenges. I want to thank Akio Toyoda for trusting me with this project and supporting us all the way to achieve the goals we set for ourselves together. I look forward to continuing to work with him, shaping the future of Toyota in motorsports. ”

For his part, Akio Toyoda, Toyota's president, recalls that “when I met Tommi I decided to return Toyota to rallying and thanks to his support we were able to win titles. In the future, he will be our sports advisor and of course he will continue to be my driving instructor. That won't change. ”

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