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Rovanpera extends WRC lead with rapid home run for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

TOKYO, Aug 8, 2022 – (JCN Newswire) – TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team’s Kalle Rovanpera has further extended his FIA World Rally Championship lead with a well-calculated drive to second put on a ferociously fast Rally Finland, as team-mate and fellow Finn Esapekka Lappi survived remarkable late drama to become listed on him on the podium at their house rally.

Tasked with sweeping the gravel roads around their hometown of Jyvaskyla, Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne Halttunen ended Friday 21 seconds from the lead and fourth overall on a rally known for high speeds and narrow margins. Willed on by the neighborhood support in the spiritual home of rallying, Rovanpera was then rapid through the longest day of the rally on Saturday and fastest in six out of eight stages to climb to second overall and slash the gap to the first choice to 8.4s.

He thus went in to the final day still eyeing a famous home win, but had not been able to risk everything while on course to strengthen his grip on the championship and ultimately had to stay for second place, only 6.8s behind Ott Tanak. He did however take the utmost five bonus points for the fastest amount of time in the rally-ending Power Stage, which increases his advantage to 94 points with five rallies remaining.

The initial Rally Finland for the brand new generation of hybrid Rally1 cars was the fourth-fastest WRC round ever, and the incredibly close lead fight required drivers to possess good confidence within their cars despite limited testing on such roads. The GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID recorded the quickest amount of time in 15 of the 22 stages.

Lappi led the Toyota charge through Friday and far of Saturday, before a freak incident with a rock that deflected up and damaged his windscreen, hampering visibility. He was to come across further drama in the penultimate stage of the rally, that was heavily rutted. One particular rut on the exit of a large part caused him to roll over 3 x. He could complete the stage while losing only 20 seconds and remaining third overall, but he and co-driver Janne Ferm had to handle roadside repairs including removing the car’s windscreen and topping up a radiator.

Incredibly, regardless of the obvious damage, they lost only 10 further seconds in the ultimate stage to carry onto third by way of a relatively comfortable 16.9s and score their second podium of the growing season.

Like his team-mates, Elfyn Evans was also area of the thrilling lead battle for a lot of the weekend before needing to make repairs of their own after damaging his suspension on Saturday afternoon. He and co-driver Scott Martin still finished fourth overall and took third in the energy Stage: Points that ensure TGR increased its manufacturers’ championship lead by one indicate 88.

Takamoto Katsuta and co-driver Aaron Johnston ensured there have been four GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRIDs in the top six for nearly the complete rally. By finishing sixth they continue their unbroken 2022 scoring run for TGR WRT Next Generation after Katsuta’s strongest performance yet on the roads around his Finnish hometown.

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Topic:News release summary

Source: Toyota Motor Corporation


From the Asia Corporate News Network

Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

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