The grandeur of motor racing was once again epitomized at the climax of the World Rally Championship 2023. Under the glittering skies of Chile, the roaring engines of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR-WRT) declared their dominance, etching another victorious chapter in the annals of rally racing.
When Elfyn Evans, behind the wheel of his formidable machine, clinched an overall podium finish on the final day of Rally Chile, echoes of victory resounded through the camp of TGR-WRT. The air was thick with anticipation, the laurels of victory within reach, and amidst this heightened atmosphere, Evans, a maestro of the rally terrain, stood just ahead of teammates Kalle Rovanperä and Takamoto Katsuta.
The tandem of Rovanperä and Evans displayed an awe-inspiring performance on the rally-ending Power Stage, grasping the maximum available bonus points. The mathematics was clear – the manufacturers’ title was secured, the jubilation in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing camp, unrestrained.
“I’m really proud of the team and crews for all the work we’ve done during the season. Two rounds before the end of the season is the earliest we’ve ever won the manufacturers’ title as TGR-WRT,” said Jari-Matti Latvala, the Team Principal.
When the echoes of the engines stilled and the dust of the rally paths settled, the herald of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s victory in the manufacturers’ category resonated far beyond the rally grounds.
Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, expressed his gratification, “To all the team members of TGR-WRT, congratulations on winning the manufacturers’ title! As a team, we secured the title in the 11th round, which is one round earlier than last year. I think it says that the team has become even stronger. I would like to thank Jari-Matti from the bottom of my heart for continuing to work with everybody to make the team stronger after already winning the manufacturers’ title in his first year as the Team Principal.” Indeed, a strength not just of machines, but of the hands that wield them, the minds that engineer their finesse, and the hearts that pulse with every rev of the engine.
Yet, amidst the collective euphoria of triumph, the individual symphony of achievement echoed with potent resonance. Evans, the knight of the rally tracks, graced the podium with six wins in 11 events. “This year Elfyn was the driving force behind the manufacturers’ title with six podiums including two wins out of 11 events so far,” in the words of Toyoda.
Rovanperä, with the wisdom of a seasoned veteran and the vigor of youth, reflected on the journey. “Patience and perseverance,” he mused, “they are the silent architects of our triumph.” A sentiment echoed by Katsuta, who viewed the demanding weekend not as an obstacle, but a crucible of evolution.
- Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Ford Puma Rally1 HYBRID) | 3h06mn38.1s
- Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID) | +42.1s
- Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) | +1mn06.9s
- Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) | +2mn11.0s
- Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID) | +4mn41.5s
- Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) | +8mn18.5s
- Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) | +8mn44.3s
- Sami Pajari/Enni Mälkönen (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) | +9mn20.6s
- Yohan Rossel/Arnaud Dunand (Citroën C3 Rally2) | +9mn53.9s
- Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) | +10mn08.2s
© Photos: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing
Click on this link to read this article in French version