Season Review: Toyota Gazoo Racing | Jobs Reply

The result? The same. more gold

But was it a flawless season? Very close. But not quite.

It would be ridiculous to describe Rovanpera as the find of the season, but this was certainly the season when he found a way to turn a rally win into a crown. Teammate Sebastien Ogier’s decision not to compete in a full season for the first time in 10 years opened a window of opportunity which the 22-year-old Finn took full advantage of.

After watching and learning from Ogier over the past two years, Cale asserted his own Seb-style dominance and won the number one title with two rounds remaining. Underlying his dominance – and Finland’s first drivers’ title since Markus Grönholm in 2002 – were six impressive victories.

These victories all came on the surface. After his Swedish success on snow, that late-stage win on the Croatian tarmac was nothing short of miraculous. More success comes on rough gravel in Africa and fast gravel in Estonia and New Zealand.

If the Japanese manufacturer is afraid of a future without a full-time Ogier, Rovanperä’s campaign has done a lot to settle those nerves this season.

Although Rovanpera found immediate comfort in the hybrid Yaris, Elfin Evans struggled to command the kind of confidence that had taken him to finish runner-up in the previous two WRC seasons. Evans fought back, finishing second four times and had a vice-like grip on Japan before a mistake and preference for dry tires on a very wet Sunday in Aichi.

Evans had a much stronger second half of the season, which makes for an interesting 2023…

Ogier and Esapekka Lappi shared a GR Yaris Rally1 The Frenchman has failed to get the rub on the green for most of this year, but was delighted with a cracking win in Spain.

Lappi has shown plenty of promise and provided a good point before deciding to envision jumping ship to Hyundai for next season. The Finn will be missed, but great news for Takamoto Katsuta moving forward with the factory team in events where Ogier won’t compete, and recognition of Toyota’s own driver development program.

Highlight of the year for Toyota? Undoubtedly the Safari Rally. A one-two-three-four finish for four factory GR Yaris Rally1s is an amazing achievement in a year of a new cohort cycle.

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