The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally Team (WRT) enjoyed a fantastic final day at the recent Rally Estonia, during the World Rally Championship (WRC) organized by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), ending the three-day event with a podium finish for Sébastien Ogier in the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC. The result saw Ogier increase his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship and ensure that Toyota maintains its lead in the manufacturers’ standings.
Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia scored two stage wins on the final day in the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC to secure third overall, finishing just 4.7 seconds from second place. Ogier is now nine points in front of his teammate Elfyn Evans, who won the third day’s opening stage in the No. 33 Toyota Yaris WRC and went on to claim second place in the Power Stage. Meanwhile, Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen won five stages in total on the second and third day of the race in the No. 69 Toyota Yaris WRC.
“Congratulations to the entire team and especially to Ogier and his co-driver Ingrassia for a well-deserved podium finish in this challenging event, which has helped us to secure more points and further extend our lead in the manufacturers’ championship,” commented Kei Fujita, Chief Representative, Middle East and Central Asia Representative Office, Toyota Motor Corporation. “Everything we learn through our participation in racing events inspires us in our journey to develop ‘ever-better’ cars and enrich our customers’ driving experience. I would like to extend my gratitude to our fans for their unwavering support, which is a source of constant motivation in our quest to create vehicles that bring satisfaction and put a smile on our customers’ faces, and we look forward to giving them more to cheer about later this month in Turkey.”
Tommi Mäkinen, Team Principal at GAZOO Racing, commented: “The result at the end of Rally Estonia is very good for the whole team and keeps us at the top of both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. Today, when we had faster conditions, we saw that all of our drivers could set the quickest times. Kalle’s speed is especially impressive for such a young driver. He seems to find his best performance when under pressure, like he did here in the Power Stage.”
Sébastien Ogier, Driver of the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC, said: “It’s a positive result for us. To finish on the podium is good for the championship. I would have liked to get more from the Power Stage, but it was the roughest one of the last two days and when I feel it’s too risky to go for it, I prefer to secure the podium. It’s nice to score some good points in a difficult stage.”
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GR, to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ GR highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme conditions of various motorsports events, GR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
The next event of the season is Rally Turkey, which takes place on September 18 – 20 and will run for the third time since it returned to the WRC in 2018 in a new location around Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast. Rocky gravel roads and high temperatures are sure to make this a grueling event as Toyota seeks to further extend its lead in the manufacturers’ championship.