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The Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) World Rally Team (WRT) secured a remarkable one-two victory at the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship’s (WRC) Rally Poland.

Reigning world champions Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen took victory in the No. 69 GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle despite minimal pre-event preparations, while Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin secured a well- deserved second place win in their No.33 GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, commented: “This was the first event in Poland since 2017 when Toyota came back to WRC. I sincerely appreciate Kalle and Jonne for accepting the team’s sudden request and driving with the strong intention of supporting the team. They surprised us by achieving such a great result, doing the maximum preparation possible in a very short amount of time.”

Toyoda added: “Lastly, I am really thankful to Elfyn and Scott for securing the valuable second place! Thanks to them, TGR was able to achieve a one-two finish. I believe that achieving a one-two finish in this rally, which marks the halfway point of the season, is very meaningful towards the manufacturers’ title. They have been strong in our home rallies, so I am expecting their strong performance in the second half of the season, which includes our home rallies in Finland and Japan! The team will continue to fight together in the second half of the season.”

Rovanperä and Halttunen’s latest victory also marks their debut at Rally Poland.

Standing in for team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Vincent Landais following their withdrawal due to an unfortunate road collision, the No. 69 crew undertook an intense pre-event recce schedule to prepare for the rally’s fast gravel stages.

Rovanperä was fourth overall after a challenging first full loop of stages on Day One, but he soon started to show the speed he’s famed for on flat-out gravel roads. Quickest in six out of seven stages across the longest day of the rally, Rovanperä took an advantage of 9.4s into Day Three. Third-fastest in the rally-ending Power Stage, Rovanperä took victory by 28.3s: the 13th and perhaps most impressive WRC victory yet for the No. 69 GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle driver.

Evans and Martin were strong contenders for the win throughout the rally, delivering a solid performance. They were only 0.4 seconds behind their teammates midway through Day Two, before encountering technical issues in the first stage of the afternoon. Evans reclaimed second place on the morning of Day Three and pushed to maximise their score despite further difficulties. Nonetheless, he managed to reclaim lost ground and finished with a strong second place.

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 TGR, ‎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,’ TGR 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, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

The eighth round of the 2024 FIA WRC is Rally Latvia (July 18-21), a brand-new event for the WRC that features more high-speed gravel roads. While the service park is located in the southern coastal city of Liepāja, the rally will begin from the capital city Riga.

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09/07/2024
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