Published on January 26th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Toyota Rally Team Wins At Monte-Carlo For The 1st Time!
The Toyota GAZOO Racing World Rally team is quite a successful one, but for all their successes, they’ve never been able to clinch a win at the Rallye Monte-Carlo. Well, that is, until this weekend. Since the team’s debut in 2017, they’ve consistently made podium there. This weekend, however, it was a well-deserved one-two finish. Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia took first place, Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin came in second.
But this was a big win in a number of other ways, besides being Toyota’s first at Monte-Carlo. Here’s how else it was important:
- It was Ogier and Ingrassia’s 50th victory at the FIA World Rally Championship. Only 1 other duo has ever that many victories
- It has also been 30 years since Toyota’s first even rally victory, which happened in 1991
- A modified schedule meant some stages took place before dawn and featured ice and snow
- Pirelli was also a new sole tyre supplier for the event and the teams had to get used to their new tyres
Here’s the race report with more details on the race.
2021 Rallye Monte Carlo Race Report
The Toyota team led the rally from its third stage early on Friday morning, with Rovanperä, Ogier and then Evans all taking turns in the lead over the course of the rally’s longest day. On his home event, Ogier claimed the lead back with a storming stage win on Saturday’s first test. He took a 13-second advantage over Evans into the final day, when he won three of the four stages – including the rally-ending Power Stage – to begin the defence of his title in the perfect way.
With second place Evans also makes a strong start to his championship campaign, while Rovanperä begins his second season at rallying’s highest level having fought for the podium on such a demanding event. Tyre damage on Sunday’s first stage contributed to Rovanperä missing out on the top three, but he did finish with the second fastest time in the Power Stage.
With Evans third quickest, the team locked out the top three positions on the Power Stage, which from this season also gives bonus points towards the manufacturers’ championship. This, combined with the one-two finish in the rally, means the team takes maximum points from the opening round – a dream start for new Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala as he looks to build upon the work of his predecessor Tommi Mäkinen.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta made it four Yaris WRC drivers in the top six as he completed Rallye Monte-Carlo for the second year in a row and scored his best WRC result so far in sixth place.