At the end of August, the FIA World Rally Championship made its annual stop in Germany for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland and this was the perfect opportunity for the TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) employees to spend a day out and see the Yaris WRCs, whose engine is developed and built in the TMG factory, from up close.
TMG’s HR department organised transfer for the 200+km trip to Saarland with two different busses giving the employees the choice between the ‘early bird’ option leaving at 4.45 am and a ‘late night’ option returning just before midnight. Both trips included a visit to two special stages, including the infamous Panzerplatte, plus the Bostalsee service park.
The day could not have been much better as the employees arrived at the Saarland in beautiful sunshine, got a unique behind-the-scenes view of their colleagues from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT working on the Yaris WRCs and had a nice outdoor picnic as they saw Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke flying over the Panzerplatte’s ‘Gina’ crest on their way to a truly memorable result. The Yaris WRC crews finished the rally first, second and third giving TOYOTA its first 1-2-3 victory since the 1993 Safari Rally! Could this have been down to the extra support from the 60 TMG employees cheering for their WRC colleagues at the stages?
Whether this support played a role or not is hard to answer, but the TMG employees certainly enjoyed their day out. This is what they had to say:
Serdar: “I didn’t get tired of proudly waving the big TOYOTA GAZOO Racing flag as much as possible. This year’s tour was again well organised by TMG. Thank you.”
Antonio: “Everything very nice and well organized. I really enjoyed it. Thank you and special thanks to the ladies who organised the picnic ... much appreciated!”
Philipp: “The behind-the-scenes tour of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT service area once again showed us how much effort is required to run a World Rally Car, and that this is only possible with an incredibly good team working together. A special highlight was to experience the servicing of the cars live and to see our Engine Workshop colleague George again. It is incredible how close you get to the service area as a spectator and that the drivers also take some time for the fans.”
Nikolaj: “It was my first rally and I liked the visit. The 4 am start was of course hard, but you were rewarded with a good spot at the Freisen stage and you could watch the first rally cars during the sunrise as they completed the first stages. It was cool to see the Yaris going around the corners so quickly :-)".
Udo: “The day was great and I would do it again! It is just great that you do such events with us. The rally day will be remembered! With this result anyway.”
Meike: “The day was really very nice! It was perfectly organised, the picnic was great and the tour of the Service Park was also really interesting. I would like to thank you again that I was allowed to participate."