Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 24 October 2023: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team (TGR-WRT) claimed an impressive podium finish recently at Rally Chile, with Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin securing third place in their No. 33 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The spectacular performance put on by TGR on the final day at Rally Chile witnessed the defending champions retaining Toyota’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) manufacturers’ title.
TGR made a triumphant return to Chile after a four-year absence, with their last appearance in 2019. The team stood up to the challenges boldly and braved the odds posed by new roads and different conditions. The team’s impressive climax, coupled with Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans achieving a one-two position on the rally-ending Power Stage to claim the maximum bonus points available, was enough to safely secure Toyota’s manufacturers’ title with two rounds remaining.
The latest victory marks Toyota’s third consecutive title win – the fourth since the formation of TGR and the seventh since 1993. The astonishing efforts of Rovanperä and Evans and their respective navigators, Jonne Halttunen and Scott Martin, have assured their fifth consecutive drivers and co-drivers champions titles for the year.
Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, commented, “To all the team members of TGR-WRT, congratulations on winning the manufacturers’ title! This year, Elfyn was the driving force behind the manufacturers’ title with six podiums, including two wins out of 11 events so far. Elfyn and Scott, thank you for getting third place, which became the deciding factor to conclude the title today. And Kalle and Jonne’s three victories were, of course, a big help as well.”
Toyoda added: “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 Latvala from the bottom of my heart for continuing to work with everybody to strengthen the team after winning the manufacturers’ title in his first year as the Team Principal. I am really looking forward to seeing everybody in Japan!”
TGR-WRT has also recently achieved a one-two finish in Acropolis Rally, another demanding edition of the FIA WRC. Reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä secured first place alongside co-driver Jonne Halttunen in the No.69 GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle. Elfyn Evans’ performance alongside co-driver Scott Martin in the No. 33 GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle secured him second place in the rally.
In parallel, the Abdul Latif Jameel Motors-sponsored GR Saudi Team achieved outstanding results in their first participation at the at the first round of the Autocross, Drift and Time Attack competitions that was hosted by Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City in Al-Ahsa Governorate as part of the Saudi Toyota Championship 2023. In both Autocross and Time Attack competitions, Mahmoud Abed and Hamza Bakhashab came first and second respectively in the G1 Category while Reem Al Aboud came first in the Ladies Cup. As for the Drift competition, Yusef Bahowairth ranked second in the Semi-Pro category.
Additionally, in their recent participation at the second round that was held at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Mahmoud Abed and Hamza Bakhashab came first and second respectively in the G1 category of the Autocross competition, while Abdullah Kabbani secured third place in the G3 category. Reem Alaboud came second in the Ladies Cup and Yusef Bahowairth ranked third in the Semi-Pro category of the Drift competition. In the Time Attack competition, Hamza Bakhashab and Mahmoud Abed came first and second respectively in the G1 category while Reem Al Abuod secured third place in the Ladies Cup.
Over the years, Toyota has participated in many different motorsports forms, 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 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Representing Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR 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, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.
The penultimate round of this year’s season is the Central European Rally, which will take place from October 26-29 on demanding asphalt roads in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria.
- No.33 GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicle (Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin)
- Position: 3rd
- Time: 3:07:45.0