The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team got off to a successful start in the opening race of the 1 WRC season with its new GR Yaris Rally2022 race car. In the first rally held in Monte Carlo, Sebastien Ogier took second place and took the podium. However, Kalle Rovanpera also took the fourth place and brought important points to the team.
Ogier was close to his ninth win in the legendary rally race and battled for first place all weekend. The tire burst problem he experienced in the penultimate stage reduced the lead from 24.6 seconds to 9.5 seconds. Showing his full performance in the last stage, Ogier was penalized for 10 seconds for his wrong start and finished the rally in second place, just 10.5 seconds behind the leader. Rovanpera, who achieved an impressive fourth place, increased the pace of the rally with each passing day and won three stages, including the Power Stage at the end of the rally.
Elfyn Evans, the third driver of the GR Yaris Rally1, was also in a struggle for leadership until she went off-road on Saturday and lost 20 minutes. Carrying his high performance to the Power Stage, Evans contributed to Toyota's second place in this stage.
In the WRC's opening race this season, all three of Toyota's drivers showed they can win stages, and the GR Yaris Rally1 is the fastest in 17 out of 9 stages. zamsigned the main In the race, where hybrid engines were used for the first time at the highest level of the rally, Toyota succeeded in demonstrating its durability and high performance.
TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta also finished in the third consecutive Monte Carlo rally, placing eighth overall. Thus, the newly formed TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT Next Generation team earned their first points.
Team captain Jari-Matti Latvala stated that they were very close to victory and said, “The most important point for the weekend was that the car proved that it had the capacity to win. The tool has also proven to be reliable. This allows us to look positively towards the future and the rest of the season.”
The second race of the WRC season will be the Rally Sweden, which will be held on snow and ice in full winter conditions from February 24-27. This year's race will be moved a little further to the north and will be held in Umea. This will be a new challenge for teams and drivers.