Veteran driver Juho Hanninen has been confirmed as one of Toyota's works drivers when the japanese manufacturer returns to the World Rally Championship next season.

Hanninen has been involved in Toyota's testing with the Yaris WRC car and has been given a one-year deal with the team.

"This really feels like a dream come true," said the Finnish driver. "Joining a works team with such potential for a full season is a real opportunity for me. We have been working together since the car's first outing, so that makes it all the more exciting and motivating.

"The Yaris WRC is incredible. I can't wait to get started at the Rallye Monte-Carlo."


Tommi Mäkinen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Team Principal, was pleased with the choice of Hanninen, reiterating that the 2017 season would be first and foremost a learning experience for the entire team.

"When he joined the team, Juho was incredibly motivated and involved," said Mäkinen. "He also understood very clearly that we didn't want to cut any corners and that the 2017 season would be about coming to grips with the championship and learning.

"He has quite a lot of experience in World Rally Championship, and I'm sure that because he has developed the Yaris WRC from the beginning, he knows the car best. Therefore, it seems to be the perfect combination to me. I know that everyone in the team will do their very best to ensure that all the energy and hard work spent on this project over the last few months bring us success."

Toyota will add at least one other fulltime driver before next season.