Toyota: Ypres logistics will only work in best-case scenario

Technical chief Fowler echos existing concerns about back-to-back events


Toyota’s technical director Tom Fowler has questioned the sense in adding the Ypres Rally into the second half of the season.

WRC Promoter announced last week that Rally Turkey will move forward by a week to potentially accommodate a further event.

Croatia and Ypres were the events discussed, with the Belgian classic now thought to be closing on an agreement with the promoter.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Richard Millener already expressed his doubts about such a plan and his concerns have been echoed by Fowler.

Rhys Yates / James Morgan Skoda Fabia R5

Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Fowler told DirtFish the plan might work on paper, but the real world – in a year defined by coronavirus – could be a different matter.

“We are happy to go to Ypres,” Fowler said, “but not if we are already going to Turkey.

“This one proposal of doing Estonia, Turkey and Ypres almost back to back to back is difficult. It works logistically on the very best-case scenario, that everything slots into the right place at the right time.

“But I don’t think we’re in a world at the moment that lends itself to setting ourselves up for difficult logistical challenges.”

While we still wait for Rally Turkey’s route officially, DirtFish understands it will be trimmed to a two-day event running September 19/20.

Rally Germany will follow the same two-day format, but it’s Baumholder stages will be Friday-Saturday (October 16/17) with the military testing ground unavailable on Sundays.