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
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.
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.