The Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) World Rally Team (WRT) celebrated an outstanding start to the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) recently with a one-two finish at Rallye Monte-Carlo. Sébastien Ogier claimed a record ninth victory at the legendary event in the No. 17 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle, finishing 18.8 seconds ahead of teammate Kalle Rovanperä in the No. 69 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Ogier set the pace from the beginning, with five straight stage wins amid mostly dry weather to open up a 30-second lead by the middle of day two during the four-day event. The Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicles were fastest across the first 11 stages. With Ogier’s eighth and ninth stage wins and the TGR team’s GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle finishing first in 16 of the event’s 18 stages, TGR secured its fifth Rally Monte Carlo win.
Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation and TGR Team Founder, commented: “Congratulations on the ninth victory for Ogier in Monte Carlo, which marked the start of the second season for our GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The team began preparations right after Rally Japan last year and made plenty of updates to the vehicles during a short period of time. We appreciate all the team members who always work so hard, even during the holidays. Thanks to their efforts, Sébastien and Vincent won the rally and the other crews completed all the special stages, resulting in a great season opening as a team. Thank you very much, everyone.”
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 involvement in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GAZOO Racing (GR) to consolidate 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 garnered 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 second race of the 2023 FIA WRC will be held in northern Europe from 9 until 12 February, and is the only full-winter event of the season taking place on snow and ice. Metal studs will be inserted into the tyres of participating vehicles to provide grip, allowing for some of the highest speeds of the year.