TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Finishes Strongly on Swedish Snow

Toyota City, Japan, Feb 19, 2024 – (JCN Newswire) – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has ended a challenging Rally Sweden on a high with Elfyn Evans scoring a strong haul of points towards the championship after setting the pace on the final day and claiming second overall.

It was a strong recovery for Evans after he was forced to run first on the road and plough through deep snow on Friday afternoon. Having been just 1.9 seconds from the eventual winner during mid-day service, the extreme conditions left him 1m50s from the lead at the end of the day.

Having moved up from fifth to third on Saturday morning, Evans then stormed into second place on Sunday’s opening stage. He was fastest in the subsequent second pass of that stage, and finished a close second in the rally-ending Power Stage. That was enough to top the ‘Super Sunday’ classification, giving he and co-driver Scott Martin a total of 24 points from the weekend – more than any other crew.

Both Kalle Rovanperä and Takamoto Katsuta fought for the rally lead before they fell victim to the snowbanks that line the stages. Rovanperä held the early lead until contact with a snow bank in SS4 on Friday caused radiator damage. He restarted on Saturday and targeted manufacturers’ points on Sunday, where he was second-quickest to Evans across the day and fastest by just 0.039s in the Power Stage. The team therefore took the maximum 22 points available on Sunday and remains jointly in the lead of the manufacturer’s’ championship after two rounds.

After an excellent drive through the demanding conditions of Friday, Katsuta was only 0.9s from first place before he got stuck in a snowbank on Saturday morning’s SS10. He too returned to action on Sunday.

Lorenzo Bertelli enjoyed driving an additional fourth GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID on the Swedish stages for the second year in succession through TGR-WRT’s customer programme. Enthusiastic as ever, the Italian reached the finish in 10th place overall.

In its second WRC2 event, the GR Yaris Rally2 proved to be a competitive force with four cars finishing inside the top five of the class and the overall top 10 in the hands of customer teams. Those four cars were engaged in close competition for most of the event, with Sami Pajari ultimately finishing second in WRC2 for Printsport ahead of Georg Linnamäe (RedGrey), Roope Korhonen (Rautio Motorsport) and Mikko Heikkilä (TGS). There was also an outright stage win in the extreme conditions of Friday afternoon in the hands of Linnamäe in SS5.

For more information, visit https://toyotagazooracing.com/wrc/release/2024/rd02-day4/.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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