Lappi to make World Rally Car debut on Rally de Portugal

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Esappeka Lappi will join his team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Juho Hänninen in the squad for the May 19-21 event, driving a third Yaris WRC at the start of a limited programme of WRC rounds, which will be selected according to development requirements.

The car has performed well since its debut on Rallye Monte-Carlo, and was driven to victory by Latvala on just its second event in Sweden in February, but TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is continuing to learn during the first season of the WRC project. With the team having collected plenty of data from the previous events, adding a third car when needed will help to accelerate the development of the Yaris WRC.

Lappi, who is one of the brightest prospects in rallying and last year won the WRC 2 title, joined TOYOTA GAZOO Racing prior to the 2017 season and has got to know the Yaris WRC well during testing. Through real competition, the 26-year-old Finn will be able to gain further experience to keep him match-fit.

Esapekka Lappi Highlights

Date of birth: 17 January 1991

Age: 26 years old

Nationality: Finnish

2007: Karting Finnish Champion

2008: Rally sprint (won all the rounds)

2009: First rally

2011: First WRC rally (Rally Finland, Rookie of the Year award)

2012: Finnish Rally Champion (won all the rounds)

2013: First WRC 2 victory in Vodafone Rally de Portugal

2014: FIA ERC Champion

2016: WRC 2 World Rally Champion (5 wins)

WRC 2 Statistics

WRC 2 starts: 17, Victories: 7, Podiums: 11,

Points scored: 245, Stage wins: 126