Latvala signs up for Castle Combe Rallyday

Group Rallying Editor
@davidevansrally

World Rally Championship superstar Jari-Matti Latvala will return to Rallyday in September, where he will be offered a seat in Toyota’s fastest ever rally car.

The Finn will be joined at the September 23 event by the Toyota 222D, Toyota Team Europe’s development Group B car. In addition to the PMR2-based motor, Latvala is hoping to get his hands on a Celica Turbo 4WD at the Castle Combe Circuit.

“I love coming to these kind of events where we have the historic cars,” said Latvala, “and Rallyday is exactly like that. It seems like a long time since I was there last in 2010, when I was driving for Ford. It was a lot of fun back then and I’m sure it will be good to come again.”

Latvala admitted the lack of World Rally Championship action in September made a trip to Wiltshire a no-brainer for him.

Latvala has been a star with Toyota this season. Pic: Mcklein-imagedatabase.com

“September is not so busy,” he said, “so when I was asked, I accept the invitation – you know what I am like for these cars! It’s good because in UK you have more historic cars, the supercars and the Group A cars. OK, let’s say we have some too in Finland, but in my home we put them in the museum. In UK you see them running. And this is what I’m coming for, I want to see these cars again and I want to listen to their incredible sound rather than them always standing still – you don’t get the passion this way.

“I would like to drive and there’s the chance with an ST185 Celica, I would like this. I drove already the Corolla WRC and AE86 (Corolla) in my career, so it would be good to drive more. But if I don’t drive, then it’s still good to come and see the fans and the cars.”

Rallyday organisers Tom Davis is thrilled to land this year’s Rally Sweden winner. He added: “Everybody knows what Jari-Matti Latvala is about. He’s a dyed in the wool rally fan, he’s one of us. The difference with Jari-Matti is that he has started 177 rounds of the World Rally Championship, finished on the podium 60 times and won 17 world rallies. He’s absolutely one of the sport’s biggest names and to have him with us at Rallyday is a massive coup.

“Jari-Matti talks like he drives – he’s one of the most entertaining, engaging, committed and passionate drivers in the history of the sport.”

Latvala will be joined at Rallyday by fellow Finn Harri Toivonen and 1984 world champion Stig Blomqvist.

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