TOKYO, Sep 7, 2020 – (JCN Newswire) – The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team had a fantastic final day on Rally Estonia with a podium finish for Sebastien Ogier, a Power Stage win for Kalle Rovanpera and six out of six stage wins for the Toyota Yaris WRC. Ogier has increased his drivers’ championship lead while Toyota remains out front in the manfuacturers’ standings.
Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia scored two stage wins on the final day as they secured third overall, finishing just 4.7 seconds from second place. With fourth in the rally-ending Power Stage, Ogier is now nine points in front of team-mate Elfyn Evans in the standings. Evans and his co-driver Scott Martin won Sunday’s opening stage on their way to finishing fourth overall and took second in the Power Stage.
Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen won three of Sunday’s stages and five in total over the weekend. In his fourth start at rallying’s top level, Rovanpera showed that he had the speed to fight for victory. He led a WRC round for the first time on Saturday morning before losing around 30 seconds to a tyre issue and one minute to a time penalty for an infringement in a time control. He finished only 1m18.7s behind the winner after he topped the Power Stage for the second time this season.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta began the day in fifth overall after his best performance so far at rallying’s top level, but crashed out on Sunday’s second stage.
Tommi Makinen (Team Principal)
“The result at the end of Rally Estonia is very good for the whole team and keeps us at the top of both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. We’re not totally satisfied with our performance. Our setup was not ideal for the conditions that we faced which were different to our testing. Today when we had faster conditions we saw that all of our drivers could set the quickest times. Kalle’s speed is especially impressive for such a young driver. He seems to find his best performance when under big pressure like he did here in the Power Stage. We can only wonder what could have happened without the tyre issue yesterday, because I’m sure he could have had a much better overall result.”
Sebastien Ogier (Driver car 17)
“It’s a positive result for us. To finish on the podium is good for the championship. For sure there is a bit of frustration for us as we know that we could have done better this weekend, there was some potential that we didn’t manage to exploit. To win here would have been difficult but we had the ability to be much closer or at least in second place. I also would have liked to get more from the Power Stage but it was the roughest stage of the weekend and when I feel it’s too risky to go for it, I don’t dare and prefer to secure the podium. Still it’s nice to score some good points in a difficult weekend.”
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“I’m not fully satisfied at the end of the rally but we come away with fourth overall and second place in the Power Stage. There was obviously good pace there at points but I was just unable to deliver it consistently. We made some changes overnight and in the slippery conditions this morning it seemed to be a bit better. Then I struggled when it got quite rough, but it seems to always be a compromise here. Like always there’s some things we can work on but at the end of the day we’re here after a difficult weekend with a decent haul of points.”
Kalle Rovanpera (Driver car 69)
“I’m really happy. My weekend was really good in terms of the pace and the driving. I think I did everything I could and I didn’t make any mistakes, even when driving on this very fast pace. We had some bad luck and it was just not our weekend but that’s rallying sometimes. The Power Stage was quite nice, I had a big push there but it was still a clean run so I’m happy. A big thanks to the team because the car was great to drive.”
For the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
Rally Turkey (September 18-20) will run for the third time since it returned to the WRC in 2018 in a new location around Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast. Rocky gravel roads and high temperatures make this a gruelling event.
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