The Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) World Rally Team (WRT) recently secured yet another impressive victory this season for its GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle in the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Rally Estonia. Kalle Rovanperä once again dominated the roads in the No. 69 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle, taking home top podium position for the team for the third year in a row. Rovanperä’s peerless performance has extended his lead in the FIA WRC, with Toyota boosting its manufacturers’ championship lead to 57 points.
Guided by co-driver Jonne Halttunen, Rovanperä maneuvered his No. 69 GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle across some of the fastest roads in the WRC. He held a narrow lead despite having to run first on the loose gravel stages and was unbeatable thereafter as he pulled clear of the competition.
Rovanperä recorded a remarkable run of 13 consecutive stage wins in the last two days, including the rally-ending Power Stage, becoming the first driver to have such a streak of fastest times on a WRC round in 15 years.
Quickest in the final leg of the race by two seconds, Rovanperä secured his second win of the season by 52.7 seconds overall and claimed the maximum 30 points to increase his standings lead to 55 points. The victory is his 10th in the WRC in the two years since he became its youngest-ever winner at Rally Estonia 2021.
Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, commented: “Kalle and Jonne; congratulations on your victory and three consecutive wins at Rally Estonia. Two years ago, it was Estonia where Kalle, 20 years old at the time, became the youngest WRC winner. Until then, the youngest winner record was held by Jari-Matti, at 22 years old. And now, 22-year-old Kalle has already won 10 WRC events. I would also like to congratulate him for becoming the youngest double-digit winner. The next WRC round is held in our hometown, Jyväskylä, Finland. I will head to Finland fully prepared for the team to carry the good momentum from Kenya and Estonia into the next round. We need to win and we will win.”
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship 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 next leg of the 2023 FIA WRC is Rally Finland, which is taking place between 3 and 6 August, and is the fastest rally on the calendar and a home rally for the TGR-WRT, which has its headquarters close to the service park in Jyväskylä.
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