Erbil, Iraq – 10 August 2022: The GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally Team (WRT) furthered its stellar track record in the 2022 season of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), with two podium finishes at Rally Finland, increasing Toyota’s Manufacturers’ Championship lead to 88 points. Behind the wheels of their Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Kalle Rovanperä further extended his lead with a well-calculated drive to second place as teammate, while fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi clinched third to join him on the podium at their home rally.
Sweeping the gravel roads around the Finnish town of Jyväskylä, the spiritual home of rallying, Rovanperä, with his co-driver Jonne Halttunen, and Lappi, with his co-driver Janne Ferm, put on a stunning show in their No.69 and No. 4 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 respectively, which recorded the quickest time in 15 of the 22 stages. Rewarding themselves for their thrilling performance in a rally known for high speeds and narrow margins, Rovanperä took the maximum five bonus points for the fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage to stretch his advantage to 94 points with five rallies remaining. At the same time, the Lappi-Ferm duo scored their second podium of the season.
Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “This year there are two home rallies for us, and Rally Finland was the first one of them. The whole team, especially the local heroes, Rovanperä and Lappi, tried very hard and did well, pushing to the limit and beyond. We received great support from fans and the city of Jyväskylä. I would like to thank everyone for that. I’m sure we will have huge support as well at Rally Japan, which is our other home rally. The team will continue working hard together, and we will definitely respond to their cheers and return the favor with victory.”
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 GR, to consolidate all of its motorsport’s 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 gained 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.
Ypres Rally Belgium, which will take place from August 19-21, ran as a WRC round for the first time in 2021, but has a long-standing reputation as a classic and demanding asphalt rally, known for its fast but narrow farmland roads lined by large ditches.
- No. 69 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Drivers: Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen
- Position: 2nd
- Time: 2h 24m 11.4s (+6.8s)
- No. 4 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Drivers: Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm
- Position: 3rd
- Time: 2h 25m 25.3s (+1m 20.7s)
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