After winning its third consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours, there’s a lot of pressure on Toyota to stay at the top, and the most popular Japanese car brand is making sure it retains its winning ways by appointing Tommi Mäkinen as Motorsport Advisor not only for its racing arm, but Toyota Motor Corporation as a whole.
Mäkinen is the main man behind the supercharged re-ignition of Toyota's World Rally operations from 2017. His team not only helped Toyota build its highly competitive rally car, but also develop the drivers slated to get behind its wheel.
With Mäkinen’s success, Toyota hopes to further its plans in other fields of motorsports, such as the development of motorsports-bred GR vehicles, strategic planning of motorsport activities, and driver talent development. His advice on strategy formulation and organizational operations is expected to prove valuable for these efforts.
Mäkinen won’t be completely leaving his old job behind, as Toyota's World Rally operations will now be managed directly by Toyota. From 2021 on the WRC operations will be run by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe GmbH, the Toyota group company responsible for the core functions of Toyota motorsports in Europe.
“We are happy that as planned Toyota now decided to acquire the WRC-operations we have built together and I am also very happy of the way Toyota provides our experts with a steady home and future as TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team,” Mäkinen said. “It is also important to me that operations will still stay in Jyväskylä and Tallinn, while the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe takes the team under its wing.”