Pierre-Louis Loubet will take team-mate Ott Tänak’s place at this weekend’s HYAcenter Rally – a warm-up event for next week’s Rally Finland.
M-Sport had originally reserved an entry for the 2019 world champion, but Loubet – who equalled his best World Rally Championship finish of the season in Estonia last weekend – will take the controls of the Puma Rally1 Hybrid instead.
“I knew that Ott would not do the small rally next week, I think he wants a bit of holiday, so they told me that I can do to replace him,” Loubet told DirtFish.
“So for me it’s a good thing, because I need the experience – you need the experience on these types of roads, and I already learned a lot here.
“So it’s good to continue. I don’t know the name [of the rally], I just know yesterday [Saturday] that I will do it.”
Tänak feels he wouldn’t be able to learn much more by doing the extra event this weekend.
He told DirtFish: “I would say we are a bit on the maximum at the moment. I just know there is nothing new from the team’s side so there is nothing to add up. I believe you can’t do much more than we are doing.
“For sure Finland is a bit specific so we will do a one-day test, we will do a bit of fine tuning but yeah nothing to put some extra performance.”
Based in Tampere, 90 miles south-west of Rally Finland’s host city Jyväskylä, HYAcenter Rally offers eight stages totalling just under 50 miles. Recce is on Friday before the rally on Saturday (July 29).
Toyota has also entered GR Yaris Rally1s for reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä and 2021 Rally Finland winner Elfyn Evans.