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Makinen returns: Ex-champ to lead Toyota

2015-07-08 10:09

RALLY NOSTALGIA: World Champion Tommi Makinen with his 1996 winning car, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3, during the World Rally championship near Jyvaskyla, Finland, in 2013. Image: AFP / Mikko Stig

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Retired four-times World Rally champion Tommi Makinen will be Toyota's team principal when the Japanese automaker returns to the sport in 2017,

Toyota said on Tuesday (July 7 2015) that the 51-year-old Finn won his four successive titles with Mitsubishi from 1996-99.

18-YEAR COMEBACK

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, a keen amateur racer who has taken driving instruction from Makinen, will be chairman of the team when it returns after an 18-year absence.

Toyota won four Drivers' and three Manufacturers' titles in the 1990's before leaving the series as the champion team in 1999 are returning with a Yaris WRC car prepared in Germany.

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