Lappi: WRC strategically harder with hybrid cars

Toyota’s new GR Yaris

Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Esapekka Lappi says the World Rally Championship will be “more challenging” in 2022 with the addition of hybrid power.

The Finnish driver will compete for a partial campaign in 2022 and share one of the team’s Toyota GR Yaris Rally1-specific cars with eight-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier.

New for next year is the addition of hybrid systems.

In addition to being used for touring stages, riders will be able to receive an extra boost from the 100 kW hybrid units on stage.

That, Lappi said, adds another layer of strategy to each convention.

“Using [the hybrid power] it will not be completely simple, ”said the 2017 Rally Finland winner.

“On the test road, you understand more where you want to use and how you need it, but for the stages you will have to prepare more than before on the stages.

“You have to choose the strategy for the scene, and that makes things more challenging in many ways.”

Lappi opens its 2022 campaign at Rally Sweden. Other than that, Toyota has not confirmed its full schedule along with Ogier.

The first impressions in testing the new Yaris compared to the old Yaris, which he took to fourth place in this year’s Rally Finland, were positive.

“It felt different after Finland,” he said.

“With the transmission, it looks like the R5 (Rally2) car, and maybe the driving style should be more in that direction.

“Of course there’s the extra weight, but also the extra power. It’s a rally car, so no problem.

“We drove a car with many different things, many different parts.

“It was more of a development test, let’s say. It was very good to be back. “

Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera will lead Toyota Gazoo Racing’s efforts in the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship.

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