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September 23, 2020

Ex-Mitsubishi Rally Driver Tommi Mäkinen Will Now Help Toyota Make Ever-Better Cars

Tommi Mäkinen may be synonymous with Mitsubishi and the Lancer Evolution, but starting in January 2021, he’s going to be an advisor to Toyota Motor Corporation. His role: to help the carmaker make ever-better cars.

Mäkinen, currently the force behind Toyota’s impressive run at the World Rally Championship since 2017 (they won the manufacturer’s title in 2018 and the driver and co-driver’s world championship titles in 2019), will take on the role of Motorsports Advisor at Toyota.

With his expertise, Mäkinen will oversee the strategic planning of motorsports activities as well as driver talent development. He will also contribute to the development of motorsports-bred GR (Gazoo Racing) vehicles.

Consequently, the WRC project built by Tommi Mäkinen—Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, and the design and development of the world rally cars―will now be managed directly by Toyota, particularly Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe GmbH.

“I am happy to say that this goal has now been reached and it is time for me to move on to new challenges with Toyota. I want to thank Akio Toyoda for trusting me with this project and supporting us all the way to reach the goals we set together. I am looking forward to continue the work with him, designing the future of Toyota in motorsports,” says Mäkinen.

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