Under the leadership of Tommi Mäkinen, the Toyota WRC team achieved the 2019 WRC Individual World Championship title!
‘’Give luck a chance’’, said WRC legend ja 4 x World Champion Tommi Mäkinen to Born to Win Warrior Che Guevara
BTWW Che Guevara met together with me Tommi Mäkinen in Monaco, Monte Carlo, which is an iconic place for Tommy as well. As it was in Monte Carlo Rallye 2002 that Tommi Mäkinen achieved his last WRC win before being retired and Monaco has been his second home since 1999.
Hello Tommy nice to meet you !
Tommi you are World Rally Championship (WRC) superstar, one of the most successful WRC drivers of all time with 4 World Champion titles and now 2018, as a head of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, You became the first person in the history of the rally to win World Championship both as a driver and as a team principal ?
Yes that’s correct.
And You have video game and even car named by you ?
Yes after winning World Rally Championship in 1998, the licensed Tommi Mäkinen Rally video game was released and in 2000 Mitsubishi produced a ‘Tommi Mäkinen edition’ of the road version of the Lancer Evolution VI to commemorate my previous title successes.
The Championship 1998 is considered by many to be the most exciting competition in racing history ?
Yes it was until the very end with very unexpected turns….
In the run-up to the final round of the 1998 World Rally Championships, You and Carlos Sainz subtracted only 2 points in favor of of You. To win the World Champion title, You was need to just drive firmly to the end and keep Carlos behind yourself. But it all wasn’t that easy like it sounds…you broke your car. What happened ?
Everything went according to plan and we did a good job, but in one corner oil had hit the road shortly before my car arrived and I could not be warned about it. My car slipped in a corner, flew against a concrete barrier and broke.
You probably thought it was all over for you in this world championship ?
Yes of course looks like it’s over and over for me! Carlos now only needed to calmly finish the rally to become world champion. Everything seemed decided and clear.
And then something absolutely incredible happened … Carlos Sainz’s Toyota WRC car caught fire just few hundred meters ahead of the finish line ! Incredible but true! How was you feel when got this news ?
I was at the hotel where I was interviewed for television as a World Championship 1998 driver for the 2-nd place when I received a phone call in the middle of an interview informing me that Carlo’s car caught fire just five hundred meters before the finish and it means that I , Tommi Mäkinen, is the 1998 World Rally Champion !
Some people say’s after this that you just was are very lucky ?
When you do something and do it with such maximum dedication that you give from yourself 100%, but when it is not enough in the some special moment in life, luck comes and will give you missing part what you need for the perfection success. Do your thing with 100% and then you give for luck a chance and a reason to come to you at the most necessary moment.
And what is your next challenge or goal ?
Well this year I definitely want to win both the team and the individual WRC World Champion title for Toyota Gazoo
Thank you Tommi for your time.
We wish you success in this and of course also good luck!
Tommi Mäkinen is a World Rally Championship (WRC) superstar. One of the most successful WRC drivers of all time. 4 World Champion titles, 24 World Rally wins, 362 stage wins. Tommi Mäkinen has been 45 times on World Rally Championship podium. In 2018 and 2019, as a head of Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, he became the first person in the history of the rally to win World Championship both as a driver and as a team principal.