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Monday, December 11, 2023

Toyota WRC drivers free to “absolutely assault” to say elusive residence victory

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The Japanese model has dominated the 2023 season, successful eight of the 12 occasions so far, and sealing a drivers’ and producers’ title double for the third consecutive season.

Toyota claimed a sixth constructors’ crown in Chile earlier than Kalle Rovanpera wrapped up a second drivers’ title at Central European Rally final month.

Nevertheless, the workforce nonetheless has one goal nonetheless to finish, which is to win Rally Japan for the primary time. On the occasion’s return to the calendar final 12 months, Toyota misplaced out to rival Hyundai as Thierry Neuville led a 1-2 whereas Takamoto Katsuta completed third.

Because it at the moment stands, just one Japanese model has received Rally Japan beforehand. Subaru triumphed within the inaugural version of the WRC occasion in 2004 with Petter Solberg.

After tasting defeat on the asphalt levels round Toyota Metropolis final 12 months, Toyota workforce principal Jari-Matti Latvala says his workforce is much more motivated to safe victory this weekend.

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Toyota will as soon as once more discipline a quartet of GR Yaris entries for Rovnapera, Elfyn Evans, Sebastien Ogier and Katsuta.

“Now that we’ve got secured all three titles as soon as once more, the clear goal that is still is to win Rally Japan, which is one in every of two residence occasions for us,” stated Latvala. 

“Final 12 months, we might get Takamoto onto the rostrum in entrance of his residence followers which was very nice, however everyone is basically motivated to get the win this time.

Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

“We may have all 4 drivers there they usually don’t actually need to fret in regards to the championship anymore, so they’re free to completely assault the rally and goal the victory.

“It’s a difficult occasion as a result of regardless that it’s a second consecutive rally on asphalt, the roads in Japan are very totally different to Central Europe.

“With out the prospect to check earlier than the rally, we’d like to have the ability to adapt the automobile setup accordingly.”

Ogier, who has claimed three wins this season, says he feels a “duty” to ship this weekend.

“I’m trying ahead to Rally Japan. Regardless that we’ve got already achieved our predominant targets for the season as a workforce, as a Toyota driver I nonetheless really feel a duty to attempt to ship a house win in Japan,” stated Ogier, who completed fourth in Japan final 12 months.

“That might be a really particular and vital consequence. Personally, I hope will probably be higher than our final rally, and hopefully the situations in Japan will probably be a bit extra satisfying.

“We noticed final 12 months that there aren’t so many alternatives for slicing, so the situations can stay a bit extra steady for everyone no matter beginning place. Hopefully we will have an excellent battle and finish the season on a excessive.”

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