The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team claimed a historic lock-out of the podium places on last weekend’s Rally Germany. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja claimed victory to increase their lead in the Drivers’ and Co-drivers’ championship, with team-mates Kris Meeke/Seb Marshall and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila joining him on the podium in second and third.

The result – the first time in four years that a single manufacturer has filled the overall podium on a WRC round – brings the team to within eight points of the lead in the Manufacturers’ championship.

Tänak led the rally almost from start to finish as he notched up his third win in as many years on the demanding German asphalt event. After an intense battle they built a gap on the fearsome Panzerplatte stages on Saturday afternoon, when Meeke and Latvala moved up into the podium positions.

The result was Meeke’s first podium finish in a Toyota Yaris WRC and a major confidence boost after crashing out of a potential Toyota one-two-three on the previous round in Finland. This is what he had to say after the event in Germany.

Kris Meeke, congratulations on a podium position with Toyota – your best result this year, your first podium with the team and with Seb as well. Talk to me about the feeling at the end of it, now that this result has been achieved.
“It’s nice. It is special to be part of a one-two-three, to be honest. It doesn’t happen that often. We had a strong weekend - obviously, coming off the back of Finland, where a one-two-three might have been possible, but we tripped up there. So, coming here I was not particularly full of confidence. But we started and picked up the pace gradually. It seemed like we were in a battle with Sébastien Ogier throughout Friday and then into Saturday morning. I haven’t so much experience of the stages on Saturday morning – I had only done them once in the wet, in 2017. So, I was happy to keep him at bay on Saturday morning. Then, on Panzerplatte, we were able to make a difference and he picked up his puncture there. The result certainly came to us and it is nice to be a part of this one-two-three.”

We saw a great stage time from you on the final run of Panzerplatte. Obviously, feeling good within the stage, with yourself and the car. Did you expect it to be as quick as it was?
“Yes. It is always a little cleaner on Panzerplatte on the second pass. It wasn’t so much to try to pull a gap on Jari, it was to try to make a difference to Seb. I felt good in the car. When you have a good feeling, there is no reason not to take profit from it. As we saw with Thierry [Neuville] and Seb, it is easy to pick up a puncture in there, so you have to be extra careful as well. We’ve had a clean rally, strong stage times, and I think we deserved the second place we got.

You mentioned your confidence was a little bit low heading into this, after Finland. It has obviously been boosted now. We head to an event which is going to be brand new for you in Turkey. A massive challenge ahead. What is going to be the plan?
“I’ll have to wait and see. Everyone says how rough it was last year. Obviously, I’ve only seen the TV images, so we will have to wait until we get there and see the recce. As Ott said, they got the result last year from being smart and clever, and not necessarily chasing the stage times. Let’s see. It’s for sure going to be a little bit more difficult for me, not having been there last year, but that’s the way it is. Maybe that could play into my hands.”

Kris Meeke and Seb Marshall wear Stilo WRC DES Zero 8860 helmets.

Kris Meeke, Seb Marshall, Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, Yaris, FIA World Rally Championship, Germany, Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Citroen C3 WRC, Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul, Hyundai i20 WRC