Toyota’s presence on racing circuits across the world is not a surprise, given their focus on engineering powerful performance cars that leave a lasting mark on spectators. The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally Team (WRT) is one such avenue through which Toyota applies its experience in demanding rallies faced-off against the forces of nature to enhance the level of its production vehicles.
The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally Team (WRT) achieved a double podium finish at Rallye Monte-Carlo recently, during the first event with its all-new driver line-up. Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans finished second and third respectively during the opening event of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) following strong performances on their Toyota Yaris WRC debuts.
Quickly coming up to speed in their new cars, Ogier and Evans traded the lead with each other throughout the second and third days. Evans led into the fourth and final day’s four stages in the No. 33 Toyota Yaris WRC with an advantage of 4.9 seconds over his team-mate, who was at the wheel of the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC.
Ogier edged Evans for second overall on the rally-ending Power Stage, where he missed out on the fastest time by just 0.012 seconds. His second place with co-driver Julien Ingrassia in the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC represents a strong beginning to his bid for a seventh world title this season. Meanwhile, Evans, who was joined by co-driver Scott Martin in the No. 33 Toyota Yaris WRC, achieved his best-ever Rallye Monte-Carlo finish.
Akio Toyoda, Team Chairman, commented: “For GAZOO Racing, this is a new season that starts with eight new drivers and co-drivers. I am happy to see this new team begin with two cars finishing on the podium; this is a great start to the season. I really appreciate the team’s preparation for this season in such a short period of time. Thank you everyone! This year's team is a team where all drivers can win. Let's fight hard together to target the top of the podium and keep working together to make the Yaris stronger. Thank you in advance for our fans to support us this season.”
Sébastien Ogier, Driver of the No. 17 Toyota Yaris WRC, said: “I feel good honestly, it's a positive result. We missed it by just a little bit, but 22 points is very good for the championship. I really enjoyed driving the Toyota Yaris WRC and I feel it’s potential. I'm sure with a little bit more time, we'll make great things together.”
The next race of the season is Rally Sweden, which takes place from 13 – 16 February. The WRC's only full-winter event, this challenging race takes place on snow and ice. It was also the scene of the Toyota Yaris WRC's maiden victory in 2017, and a second win for the team followed in 2019.
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 GAZOO Racing (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.
In Oman, the nationwide parts and service network of Saud Bahwan Automotive supports Toyota’s outstanding product quality. No wonder that today, Toyota is one of the most trusted and well-known brands.
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