We’ll be back. That’s what we said a year ago and that’s exactly what happened in 2018 when TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) visited the German round of the FIA World Rally Championship on 18 August to support our colleagues at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT.
The first group of 45 colleagues arrived early in the morning under a blue sky at TMG and used the bus trip to Saarland as a starting point to catch up, before the rally action got under way with the first stage in Freisen. Ött Tanak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi blasted past in their impressive Yaris WRC to give the group an exciting first taste of rally before visiting our TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT colleagues in the service park and meet with the second group of 32 colleagues who arrived directly from Cologne.
It was not only a popular point to meet and take a rest; there was also food and drink to keep everyone’s energy levels high and fuel the fascination. Employees enjoyed chatting with one another on a personal and professional level while people from different departments got to know each other better. Getting out of the office and spending time with the team away from day-to-day tasks was very welcome. “It created a wonderful atmosphere and a good opportunity to get to know each other better,” said Marco.
The atmosphere among team members was very relaxed and natural, like a big family which fostered the international team spirit. “I was traveling with the young guys from our engine department and we had a lot of fun together and captured some special moments on the camera to show what happy employees look like. We have seen a lot and had nice contact with our local colleagues, who explained their work area as well as the service on the cars very professionally. I am happy if this beautiful event will continue to be offered in the future,” said Wolfgang.
The service park on the shore of Bostalsee offered fascinating insights behind the scenes of this major event. We met our colleagues from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT and enjoyed a guided tour from our engine department members Falk, Thorsten and Norio. One highlight was to see the cars coming in for the service, providing a perfect view and the best place to watch the team at work. “The guided tour through the service area was amazing,” said Julia, while Mariana added: “It is a unique experience as a guest top come right up close and get a taste of the action while watching the service.” The international TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT team used the limited time available at service to prepare the three Yaris WRC cars for the next stages, impressing our group with their efficiency and motivation.
We then headed straight to the spectacular Panzerplatte. The Baumholder military training ground is once again one of the hotspots at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland in 2018. In glorious weather, the event allowed all employees to truly relax and have fun, giving everyone the opportunity to feel motorsport up close with the smell, sound and dust of cars passing only a few meters away.
As is often the case in the unpredictable world of rally, the event featured drama, excitement, many highs and an occasional low for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT but in the end the team deservedly tasted the victory champagne, with Ott winning for the third time this year and Esapekka finishing third. For our 77 colleagues who visited to give their support, it was an enjoyable day spectating on the stages and everyone felt pride to be associated with the team and Yaris WRC, which showed its great performance yet again. “Standing right next to the track and hearing all the rally cars were really interesting, you could hear well whose anti-lag system is working well or not so well. Our tour was just perfect,” said Joachim.
“I really enjoyed this day. It was nice to be able to drive together with the other colleagues, who are all petrol heads, and to experience the day together. The luxury of having a VIP bus taking us directly to the service park and to the track must not be forgotten. That was really cool!” said Julia.
Anyone who has visited a round of the WRC can understand why the TMG employees enjoyed themselves so much. To get up close and personal with the Yaris WRC and the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT team was a privilege which everyone appreciated. “The employee events are always very well organized and create a great benefit for us TMG employees,” said Konny. Marco agreed: “I felt very excited at the idea to spend another day at the rally. It was again a magnificent motorsport experience.”
“I really enjoyed this day at the rally. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience. It has been great to be so close to the action and I am looking forward to the next time,” said Serdar. I think we can say that many employees got really addicted to the world of rally. We are all looking forward to the next get together and the next insights.