The Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) World Rally Team (WRT) recently secured yet another impressive double-podium victory this season with its GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle in the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rally Finland. Elfyn Evans’ remarkable driving secured him first place in the No. 33 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle.
His exceptional performance was matched by teammate Takamoto Katsuta, who secured a third-place podium finish in his No. 18 Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle. Following its fifth Rally Finland win since 2017, Toyota has increased its manufacturers’ championship lead to 67 points.
Evans dominated in his No. 33 GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle throughout the event. Having taken the lead, Evans continued to win seven consecutive stages and build an advantage of over 30 seconds ahead of the final day. He won three of the rally’s last four stages, sealing his seventh career victory by 39.1s with the fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage.
Katsuta scored his fourth FIA WRC podium after a solid and confident performance on the roads around Jyväskylä, where he has lived for many years. He and co-driver Aaron Johnston won the first forest stage and soon fought for a podium place amidst challenging weather conditions.
An excellent drive on wet roads to win the second day’s final stage also allowed him to regain the advantage in his fight for third. He stretched that advantage with a further fastest time on the rally’s last day before setting the fourth-best time in the Power Stage to seal third overall.
Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, commented: “Elfyn, Takamoto, congratulations on achieving another amazing victory at Rally Finland! Being the alternate Team Principal this time, as the principal Jari-Matti Latvala participated in the No. 97 GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle, I was able to realise that each member of the team was doing a tough job in each area, and that made me appreciate everybody again. I always told every team member three things: ‘one team’, ‘never give up’, and ‘we hate to lose’. Elfyn, Scott, thank you for bringing me to the podium. I want to do this amazing job in Japan again. I am grateful for Jari-Matti, who has built and is leading such a great team, and I want to thank him and the team for this amazing week.”
Over the years, Toyota has participated in many different motorsports forms, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Separate entities within the company oversaw Toyota’s participation in these events until April 2015, when Toyota established TGR 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,’ TGR 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, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
Abdul Latif Jameel Motors and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) have jointly launched the Gazoo Racing (GR) Saudi Driving School. This collaboration underscores Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars’.
The primary objective of this endeavour is to identify untapped Saudi talent for the GR Saudi Team while also nurturing their skills and capabilities across four thrilling disciplines: Time Attack, Hill Climb, Drift, and Autocross. The facility will soon start welcoming young Saudi men and women aged 18 to 26 who share the passion and enthusiasm for motorsports.
The next leg of the 2023 FIA WRC is the Acropolis Rally in Greece, which will occur from September 7-10. Its legendary reputation for rocky mountain roads and high temperatures creates a tough challenge for vehicles, tires and drivers alike.
- 33 Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle (Elfyn Evans & Scott Martin)
- Position: 1st
- Total time: 2:33:11.3
- 18 Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle (Takamoto Katsuta & Aaron Johnston)
- Position: 3rd
- Time: 2:34:48.0 (+1:36.7)
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