Thursday, June 17, 2021
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HomeWorldTOYOTA GAZOO Racing Sets Sail In Search Of Sardinian Success

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Sets Sail In Search Of Sardinian Success


Toyota City, Japan, May 28, 2021 – (JCN Newswire) – After
victory in Portugal, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally
Team moves quickly onto another gruelling gravel event in
the shape of Rally Italia Sardegna (June 3-6) with the aim
of continuing its strong recent form.

2021
Yaris WRC

Toyota Yaris WRC duo
Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans lead the way in the drivers’
championship after the latter’s victory on the first gravel
round of 2021 in Portugal – and are separated by just two
points, with a further 20 points back to the competition.
Fifth in the standings is Kalle Rovanpera and sixth is TGR
WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta – fresh from
taking his best ever result of fourth in
Portugal.

Rally Italia Sardegna returns to its
traditional June date this year after the 2020 edition was
switched to the autumn. That should mean a return to some of
the highest temperatures experienced all season, which
combined with rough and abrasive roads can make the event
particularly tough on cars and tyres. The stages are fast
but narrow and lined with bushes, trees and rocks, making
them tricky for the drivers too.

The service park
moves back to Olbia in the northeast of the island after
seven years in Alghero on the west coast – although Alghero
will still host the start of the rally on Thursday evening.
Friday and Saturday feature mostly familiar roads from
recent years, with each day consisting of a pair of stages
run twice in the morning and another pair of stages run
twice in the afternoon. Saturday afternoon’s Bortigiadas –
Aggius – Viddalba test was last driven in 2005, while Sunday
has a completely different look, with two passes over the
Arzachena – Braniatogghiu stage last run in 2009 plus the
all-new Aglientu – Santa Teresa test on the northern coast,
which will serve as the rally-ending Power
Stage.

Quotes:

Jari-Matti Latvala (Team
Principal)

“We had a fantastic result in Portugal and
that gives us a good feeling moving onto another gravel
rally in Sardinia. We also have to be realistic going into
the event. Seb and Elfyn will be the first two drivers on
the road during day one, and this is usually one of the most
difficult rallies in terms of road cleaning, especially now
we are going back there in the summer. But we fought back
well from a difficult start in Portugal and again we will
try to take as many points as we can in Sardinia. We know it
will be a great challenge but that’s what rallying is all
about.”

Sebastien Ogier (Driver car 1)

“I’m sure
that Sardinia will be another demanding rally for us,
opening the road again like in Portugal. But honestly I am
happy to be leading the championship: I always try to take
as many points as I can, and this will be the aim in
Sardinia too. The result in Portugal was positive, even
though I was not so satisfied with our pace. But it was the
first time driving with the new tyres on gravel, and
hopefully as we gain a bit more understanding with them we
can see how to extract some more performance already in this
next event.”

Elfyn Evans (Driver car
33)

“Portugal was obviously a great result for us. We
made good progress with the car setup and our understanding
of the tyres throughout the weekend, but even though it’s
quite a tight turnaround, I think we probably all have a few
ideas as to how we can improve the package for Sardinia.
It’s not going to be an easy weekend given our road
position, and that might be more of a disadvantage than it
was in October last year if we have warm and dry conditions
like expected, but we’re going to give it our best shot as
always.”

Kalle Rovanpera (Driver car 69)

“After
Portugal I really hope that we can have a better rally in
Sardinia. The stages there are quite demanding and I’m not
sure whether suit my style so well, even though I did win
there in WRC2 in 2019. Last year it was quite a tricky event
for us, but I really want to improve there and show some
better pace and I have already been studying the stages
quite a lot in preparation. In Portugal I struggled a lot on
the first pass when the grip was lower, but we used the
Sunday to test some different setups ready for Sardinia and
hopefully we can use what we learned
there.”

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