Why the first Rally1 crash shortened Toyota testing

Elfyn Evans' crash in France had no impact on the hybrid kit in the car, but ther was a lack of other spares

Elfyn Evans

The World Rally Championship can breathe a sigh of relief following the first significant Rally1 crash last month.

When Elfyn Evans went off the road in the French Alps, there was concern at the hybrid aspect of the Toyota Yaris Rally1 car. The car’s centrally-sourced MGU, inverter and battery are all housed in a carbon fiber case designed to withstand a loading of up to 70G, but still there were questions.

DirtFish can report the green light remained on the car throughout, meaning the car’s hybrid and electrical componentry remained intact.

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala said he was pleased with the way the Yaris emerged from its first crash.

“This was good,” he said. “This was the first accident to happen [with a Rally1 car] so we were very positive from this side. We are happy about this, the safety measures and the way everything was working.”



Ogier wants a break but knows he's "still not that old" should feelings change

As well as containing the car’s hybrid element, the safety cell researched and designed by the FIA – which sits beneath the skin of all manufacturer Rally1 cars – did its job.

“It was not a huge accident,” said Latvala. “The biggest problem and the reason we couldn’t continue with the test is that we were missing parts and components. Because this is a new car, we haven’t yet been able to produce some of the panels and things like that and that’s why we had to bring the car back to Finland to get some of those parts sorted for the next test.

“The chassis was OK and it wasn’t the case that we were missing anything [or any parts] on the chassis.”

The crash cost Sébastien Ogier his first time in the car – which frustrated both Evans and Latvala.

“It was unfortunate not to get Ogier onboard,” he said. “He starts the Monte test next week. I spoke with Elfyn after the accident and he was pretty OK, but he was himself a bit disappointed that he wasn’t going to be able to hear the comments from Séb also.

“This was a not a nice thing from my side to miss those words from Séb, but we will get there and I’m sure it will be very interesting!”