Rally driving Esapekka Lappi returns to his roots and drives a Toyota in the Jyväskylä World Rally Championship: “It feels like coming home”

Lapland is nominated as a Japanese stable factory for next season if Ogier ends his career.

Esapekka Lapland will return to its roots in the Finnish World Rally Championship around Jyväskylä at the beginning of October.

Lapland drives the tenth World Rally Championship of the season in the Toyota team as a private driver and in a different colored car than the three factory drivers in the team Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä.

The fifth car in the team is driven by a Japanese in Jyväskylä Takamoto Katsuta.

Lapland is rumored to join the stable’s factory team next season if Ogier ends his career. Evans, Rovanpera and Katsuta will continue in the stable next season.

Lapland has not driven the rally in the main series in the WRC class since his contract with M-Sport’s Ford ended last year.

“It is great to return to the Finnish rally in a familiar stable. I’ve had some great moments there. It feels like coming home, ”Lapland said on the WRC website.

Lapland continues as a map reader Janne Ferm. In 2016, the pair won the unofficial WRC2 World Championship.

Toyota Lapland joined the WRC team in 2017, which was the first year of the Japanese stable in the series Tommi Mäkinen under. In the same summer, Lapland can have a stable car in Jyväskylä.

Mäkinen left the team manager at the end of last year. Toyota’s management chose to replace him Jari-Matti Latvalan, to whom Mäkinen no longer gave a ride in the stable as a driver.

In 2019, Lapland competed in the French team Citroën as Ogier’s teammate. During that season, Lapland ran second three times, in Sweden, Finland and Turkey.

The Jyväskylä World Rally Championship will be run from 1 to 3. October. Exceptionally, two World Rally Championships will be held in Finland this year. Due to the corona pandemic, the Swedish World Rally Championship moved to Rovaniemi in February.

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