Competitors from the Japanese manufacturer, who lead the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship in the FIA World Rally Championship and scored a remarkable 1-2-3-4 result at last month’s Safari Rally Kenya, could tremble to the core at the news .
The GR Yaris has had an engine and aero upgrade ahead of the fastest rally of the season to date and the first of two super-fast events in Northern Europe.
The reason for the move is simple according to the technical director of the Jyväskylä team, Tom Fowler.
Video: Memorable moments from Rally Estonia
“The Hyundai is faster than us in a straight line,” he said. “It means they have a better engine. Is it dramatically different or better? Well, if it’s a measurable difference, then it’s a difference and you have to work on that.”
Fowler declined to say exactly which parts would be new under the hood of the Yaris, but added that the rear wing change was not significant.
“The rear wing is something for the balance of the car,” he added. “It’s a small readjustment.
“For the engine, as you can imagine, we’re collecting a lot of data on these cars and we’ve seen that if you want a straight-ahead car, you want a Hyundai. But if there’s a few corners in there, you want a Toyota.
“It’s not just the engine [for Hyundai]we know they have Ott [Tänak] with a home advantage here and Thierry [Neuville] has the same in Belgium.
“They will be strong in the next rallies. I think we all know there are some long straights and maybe a few shorter corners in the next three [WRC rounds].”
• Full coverage from Rally Estonia will be available on WRC+ All Live hereincluding every stage broadcast live as well as key interviews, reports and expert analyzes from the service park