The Finnish rally driver has retired since the end of the 2003 season and recently turned 51 years of age last month. However, don’t for a second think that he has lost his edge as you can see in this video.
See, Toyota is gunning for a return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2017 under the Toyota GAZOO Racing banner and Mäkinen is the man in charge of doing just that as its team principal.
From the way he’s putting this Toyota 86 rally car through its paces around a rally course, we might think that he was the team’s driver as well. With 24 WRC rallies and four drivers’ titles under his belt across an 18-year career, it looks like his skills aren’t diminished by time either as he effortlessly guides the 86 on the gravel roads in Finland.
Mäkinen will be in charge of preparing a WRC-spec Toyota Yaris for its debut come 2017. We’re pretty sure Akio Toyoda, Toyota President, who is serving as team chairman for GAZOO Racing, is absolutely convinced of the Swede’s knowledge and skill as you can see from this photo of them together in a race car.