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Toyota And Ogier Celebrate Championship Victory

Toyota Gazoo Racing and Sebastien Ogier were celebrating on Sunday evening after they scored victory in the ACI Rally Monza in Italy and by doing so they won the championship ahead of teammate Elfyn Evans after the pair came home 1-2 in Monza.

Speaking following the event, Akio Toyoda, team founder said:

“Throughout the season, there was always at least one of our crews on the podium – including Takamoto. Thanks to them, I was able to watch all the events being thrilled expecting that somebody from our team would win. Then in this final event, Seb and Julien, who were targeting their eighth title, and Elfyn and Scott, who still had a chance to win their first, had the ultimate battle until the very end. As a big rally fan, I felt so excited watching them. ‘Our Yaris WRCs are running in such an exciting situation at the highest level of competition…’ It was like a dream for us at Toyota. I would like to thank both crews from the heart for making us feel like that.

Seb and Julien, congratulations! I truly respect you for driving to the maximum until the end. To be eight-time champions is a great record, and we are all proud that two out of those eight were with Toyota. Thank you so much. To secure the manufacturers’ title and have Seb and Elfyn freely fight at the same time: all team members tackled this final event together to achieve both. Kalle’s driving throughout the event showed it well. Kalle, Jonne, thank you very much for what you have done for the team.

It’s thanks to Jari-Matti that the team was able to smile. Jari-Matti, who was also a driver, is a leader who always puts drivers first. I think all the drivers were able to finish the season with smiles because all the judgements were made from a driver’s point of view. He hates to lose. He does as much as I do, or maybe more than I do. I believe his judgements based on this ‘hate-to-lose’ mindset made the team strong.

There was one more way in which Jari-Matti surprised me. That was his thorough communication with the team members. Through a video taken by the team, I saw him giving morning greetings one-by-one at the early morning service park. All 200 members across Finland, Estonia, Germany and Japan were closely united because we had him. I really appreciate him for realising the ‘driver-driven team’ and ‘family-like yet professional team’ which we had been aiming for.

This team kept making the Yaris WRC stronger since 2017. What I asked for at the first rally in 2017 was to make the Yaris WRC the strongest at the end of the season. The Yaris WRC has run 59 events in these five years, and we learned a lot from the events we won and we lost. The team did make the last Yaris WRC the strongest ever. I’m really happy for that.

Our car will be totally new under new regulations next year and the development is reaching its climax. The team is extremely busy and I’m grateful to everybody and their families who support them. We will prepare an ever-stronger Yaris and make our fans even more excited from next season onward. I hope the fans will look forward to our new car and new challenges and I appreciate your continuous support for TGR WRT.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Principal Jari Matti Latvala commented saying:

“We have been working so hard to claim the manufacturers’ championship and the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships all at the same time. I am so grateful for the team: We have such a fantastic team with great people and the best drivers in the championship. I’m really proud of all the team members and the crews. What Seb and Julien have achieved in their careers is incredible. Elfyn and Scott did fantastically well to make it an exciting battle, and a huge thank you to Kalle and Jonne for the role they played as well. In 2018 I won the manufacturers’ title as a driver, and to do it again now as a team principal is a unique moment. This is also a brilliant way to finish this era with these cars, and to have won nine rallies this year is amazing.”


Sebastien Ogier who claimed his eighth FIA World Rally Championship took victory in Italy by 7.3s from Elfyn Evans and described his emotions saying:

“It’s so hard to describe these kind of emotions. Somehow you feel empty because it’s been such an exhausting season like always, where you need to put so much into it to win the championship. But we do it for moments like this. A big thanks to all the team members: Without them we are nothing and today we are all world champions, so let’s celebrate this. It’s pretty remarkable what Toyota has achieved, and the team deserves it because they’ve put a lot of effort into it. The emotion is even stronger knowing it’s the end of my journey with Julien. We could never have dreamed of a better way for it to end it. We knew we still had a lot to do this weekend and that it was not over yet. We didn’t have to beat Elfyn, but we couldn’t afford to relax and then drop positions, and to win in the end is just perfect.”

Sebastien Ogier

For his part, Elfyn Evans said he had mixed emotions after coming home in second place in the event and the championship saying:

“Of course it’s mixed feelings for us today. Naturally you always want more. We knew the drivers’ title would be difficult but we wanted to try and win the rally. In the end we didn’t quite get it but congratulations to Seb and Julien on another fantastic title and also on a fantastic career together. I want to thank everybody in the team, they’ve been working so hard, giving us fantastic equipment but also a fantastic atmosphere to work in. It’s also a very fond farewell to the Toyota Yaris WRC, it’s been a joy to drive.”


Kalle Rovanpera came home in ninth place overall and speaking following the event he said:

“It feels really good to help the team secure the manufacturers’ championship. It was a really nice season for us, and getting the teams’ title also feels really good for us because we were able to bring good points in many rallies. It’s a big thing for the team and it feels really nice to be a part of it. It was not so easy to do the job we did this weekend, but it was important that we did it and this feeling makes it worth it. The team has been working really hard, so big congratulations and thank you to them. It’s been a great year with an amazing car and I think we really showed how strong our team is.”


By benjohnston31aolcom

My name is Ben Johnston and I am a freelance journalist who also owns and operates the IndyCar accredited website - I am currently seeking employment in the Journalism and media sector.

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