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Jari-Matti Latvala scores Toyota’s first WRC win since 1999 in Sweden

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Jari-Matti Latvala swept to a shock victory in Rally Sweden on Sunday, claiming Toyota’s first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship since 1999.

Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 after an 18-year absence, with Latvala finishing second upon its comeback in the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

The result took many at Toyota by surprise, but the Finn was able to go one better in Sweden this past weekend and claim

Latvala had been running second for much of the rally behind runaway leader Thierry Neuville, only for the Hyundai driver to lose a wheel on Saturday’s super special stage and drop back in the process.

Neuville’s demise turned the battle for second between Latvala and M-Sport’s Ott Tanak into the battle for victory, with Latvala able to eke out an advantage in the stages that followed.

Come Sunday, Latvala was able to complete the rally with an advantage of almost half a minute over Tanak, as well as winning the final power stage to pick up five bonus points.

“It’s amazing. A new team, a new car, our second rally and we’re winning,” Latvala said.

“I have no words to describe it, I’m so emotional. We’re at a good level but now we go forward and it gets more difficult.

“Mexico is next up and I’m really motivated for the championship.”

The result marked the 17th victory of Latvala’s WRC career – four of which have now come in Sweden – and extends his record of winning at least once each season since 2008.

Latvala moves into the lead of the drivers’ championship with victory ahead of Sebastien Ogier, who rounded out the podium in Sweden behind Tanak in second place.

The WRC season resumes in one month’s time with Rally Mexico.

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”