TOKYO, Nov 22, 2021 – (JCN Newswire) – The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has acheived a magnificent championship trebleat the iconic Monza circuit, clinching the manufacturers’ title with a one-two finish at the final round as Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed their eighth drivers’ and co-drivers’ crowns in style with victory. Ingrassia and
Ogier faced off against Scott Martin and Elfyn Evans in the final round at Monza. The two teams engaged in a fierce battle for victory, with Ingrassia and Ingrassia swapping the lead six times. They were separated by only half a second as they reached the end of the three difficult stages around Monza. Then, they set identical times in the morning’s first test. Ogier won the rally title after Evans’ stall on the penultimate stage was a decisive factor. Ogier knew that a podium finish would suffice to win the title.
This was Ingrassia and Ogier’s fifth win of the season, following victories in Monte Carlo and Croatia, Sardinia, Kenya, and Monte Carlo. It was their 54th WRC win together in what was the final event of their full-time careers: Ogier will contest a part-time schedule with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in 2022 while Ingrassia steps out of the co-driver’s seat after a highly-successful career.
Evans and Martin secured the fifth Toyota one-two of the season, and finish runner-up in the championship for the second year in a row after victories in Portugal and Finland.
Alongside their team-mates, Kalle Rovanpera and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen were key to the manufacturers’ championship success after claiming their first career victories in Estonia and Greece this year. They were outstanding team players at the final round, and finished in ninth place overall to secure the manufacturers’ title.
This is the fifth time Toyota has won the manufacturers’ championship – putting it joint third on the all-time list of titles – and the second since it returned to the sport in 2017 with the Yaris WRC. This was the 26th and final victory achieved by the car in the final event of the World Rally Car era before hybrid-powered Rally1 cars are introduced in 2022.
TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta finished seventh overall with co-driver Aaron Johnston, overcoming contact in the penultimate test to set the second-fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage after a superb job by the team’s mechanics to repair his car in just a 15-minute service.
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“Throughout the season, there was always at least one of our crews on the podium – including Takamoto. They allowed me to enjoy all the events and I was thrilled to see that someone from our team would win. In the final event, Seb, Julien and Scott were aiming for their eighth title. Elfyn, Scott and Scott had the last battle. Being a huge rally fan, it was thrilling to watch them. Toyota was thrilled to see our Yaris WRCs running at such high levels of competition …”. It was like a dream. Both crews made us feel so special.
Seb and Julien, congratulations! You have shown great courage and perseverance to get the job done. Eight times champions is an incredible record. We are proud to say that two of them were Toyota. We are grateful. All team members worked together in this final event to secure the title of manufacturer and allow Seb and Elfyn to fight freely at the same. It was evident by Kalle’s driving skills throughout the event. Jonne Kalle, we are grateful for all you did for our team.
It’s thanks to Jari-Matti that the team was able to smile. Jari-Matti was also a driver and is a leader who puts drivers first. All the drivers finished the season smiling because they saw the driver’s perspective. He doesn’t like to lose. He loves to lose as much or more than me. His “hate to lose” mentality helped make the team strong.
There was one more way in which Jari-Matti surprised me. His open communication with his team members was another way Jari-Matti surprised me. The team recorded a video of him greeting each person at the service park in the morning. All 200 members across Finland, Estonia, Germany and Japan were closely united because we had him. He was a great leader and has helped us achieve the “driver-driven team” and “family-like, yet professional team” that we had been striving for.
This team kept making the Yaris WRC stronger since 2017. What I asked for at the first rally in 2017 was to make the Yaris WRC the strongest at the end of the season. The Yaris WRC has run 59 events in these five years, and we learned a lot from the events we won and we lost. The team made the last Yaris WRC one of the most successful. That’s something I am very proud of.
Our car will be totally new under new regulations next year and the development is reaching its climax. It’s been a busy year for the team. I am grateful to everyone and their families for supporting them. From next season, we will be preparing a stronger Yaris for our fans and making them even more excited. I am sure that the fans will be excited about our new car and new challenges. I also appreciate your continued support of TGR WRT. “
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“We have been working so hard to claim the manufacturers’ championship and the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships all at the same time. The team is amazing with the best drivers and great people. All the crew members and team members are truly impressive to me. It’s amazing what Seb and Julien achieved during their careers. Scott and Elfyn did a fantastic job making it exciting. A huge thank you to Kalle, Jonne and Jonne for their roles. In 2018 I won the manufacturers’ title as a driver, and to do it again now as a team principal is a unique moment. It’s a great way to end this era with these cars. To have won nine rallies in a year is incredible. “
Sebastien Ogier (Driver car 1)
“It’s so hard to describe these kind of emotions. It’s exhausting, and you have to put so much effort into winning the championship. You feel empty. We do it for these moments. We owe a huge thanks to the team. Without them, we would be nothing. Today we are all world champions. Let’s celebrate! Toyota’s achievements are amazing and Toyota’s team deserves it. They put so much effort into this. It’s the end for my journey with Julien, and it makes me feel even more emotional. It could not have been a better ending. We knew there was still much to do and it wasn’t over. Although we didn’t have the chance to beat Elfyn in the final, we couldn’t afford not to work hard and lose positions. To win in both ends is the best. “
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“Of course it’s mixed feelings for us today. You always want more. Although we knew that the drivers’ title would prove difficult, we still wanted to win the rally. We didn’t win the rally, but congratulations to Seb & Julien for another great title and a wonderful career. Everyone in the team deserves my gratitude. They have provided us with fantastic equipment and a great environment to work in. It’s also a fond farewell for the Toyota Yaris WRC. It’s been a pleasure to drive. “
Kalle Rovanpera (Driver car 69)
“It feels really good to help the team secure the manufacturers’ championship. It was a great season. We also felt really proud to have been able bring home the team’s title. It’s an important accomplishment for the team, and it’s great to be part of it. Although it wasn’t easy, it was worth the effort. It has been a great year for the team, so many congratulations and thanks to them. We have had a fantastic year, with an incredible car. I believe we showed just how strong our team was. “
For the latest results please visit www.wrc.com.
Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA
Topic: Press release summary
Source: Toyota Motor Corporation
From the Asia Corporate News Network
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