Toyota Gazoo Racing will move its WRC operation to sit under one roof in Finland ahead of the new 2022 regulations, meaning the closure of its rebuild site in Tallinn, Estonia.
With the team initially working from Tommi Makinen Racing’s building in Puuppola, Toyota Gazoo Racing last year opened a new facility in Jyvaskyla. This building is five times the size of the original site that the team used to work from.
With 2022 marking the start of a new era in the WRC with all-new Hybrid Rally1 cars, the team believe housing the entire operation of design, development and build under one roof makes sense both logistically and economically for the team.
Project director Yuichiro Haruna said: ““This decision has not been an easy one for Toyota Motor Corporation. But the hybrid 2022 Rally1 car requires significant investment. It’s not just in the car itself, but it’s about the environment and facility in which we’re going to develop and build the cars.
“The most efficient use of the budget is to bring both facilities under the one roof in Finland. Like I said, this is not an easy decision to take, but we have to take it.
“We have won world championship titles in three of the last four years since coming back in 2017. We are very proud of that and we are very proud of everybody who wears the Toyota colours.
“We want to keep our team of world champions together. We want our colleagues from Estonia to join us in Finland to help us maintain and further our strong record in the WRC.”
Techincal director Tom Fowler added that while the current situation has suited the team, going forward it would create difficulties with a new car.
“In terms of the rebuilding of cars between rallies, Estonia has worked well but now we must transition a car from the design stage to the build process and doing that across two locations would be a significant challenge,” he said.
“Looking at the pros and cons we can see the advantage of, for example, team communication to be a greater benefit than logistics.”
The Tallinn site is expected to close at the end of this year, with colleagues to be offered a move to the new Finnish base.