Latvala delivers verdict on Toyota’s 2024 title chances

The Toyota boss admits that his team will face its toughest challenge yet in this year's WRC


Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has offered a frank appraisal of his squad’s chances in this year’s World Rally Championship – a season which will be spent with two world champions on the bench.

Toyota has dominated the drivers’ title for the past five years and won four manufacturers’ crowns in the past six years. Latvala knows 2024 will present the biggest battle yet for the Jyväskylä-based team.

“It is going to be a tough season,” he told DirtFish. “We have had three fantastic years and this third one was absolutely the best. We have to think about the cards on the table and Hyundai, compared to us, probably they have stronger cards on table.

“We have the two world champions running half a season. They have two drivers who can fight for the title, we have one. Elfyn is our driver who can fight for the title. For Taka [Katsuta], we are still in a bit of a learning process: the next season for him was about achieving more podiums – it wasn’t the idea to go for the title in 2024.


“Of course, in that sense it’s tougher. Our target is to try to defend the manufacturers’ championship title and if we can win the drivers’ title it’s a massive bonus.”

Latvala was quick to praise Evans and his winning approach to the end of the season.

“The message to Elfyn is basically that we don’t have to think about the [drivers’] championship,” he added. “We go out there and do our job. Drive the way he drove in Japan and then we’ll see where we are.

“I don’t want to give the pressure to Elfyn. He has everything he needs, he has all the ability and our car is fast and reliable but winning the championship needs a bit of luck as well to bring all of the pieces together.”

Evans is no stranger to the sharp end of a title fight, having finished second in three of his past four championship campaigns.