Victory for GAZOO Racing and Hat Trick for Tänak at Rally Turkey
The GAZOO Racing World Rally Team took first and second place at the challenging Rally Turkey, with drivers Ott Tänak and Jari-Matti Latvala racing to victory. This is considered the team’s first result of its kind since its return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) at the beginning of 2017, moving it to the top of the manufacturers' standings. The win is also the third in a row for Tänak and the Toyota Yaris WRC; an unprecedented streak for any driver or team since introducing the current era of World Rally Cars last season.
Appearing on the WRC calendar for the first time since 2010, Rally Turkey provided a considerable test to all teams and crews with its entirely new stages over rough and rocky gravel roads that were extremely demanding for the cars and their tires. In this rally of attrition - where only five World Rally Cars completed the event without having to retire from at least one of the three legs - the approach of the Toyota team focused on reliability and avoiding mistakes.
At the end of the second day, Tänak and Latvala occupied the fifth and fourth positions respectively. Through measured driving, they took over the top of the leaderboard early on the third day as their rivals faced problems. The two drivers continued to avoid issues throughout the remaining stages, with Tänak winning by 22.3 seconds over Latvala, who finished almost one and a half minute ahead of the third place crew. Tänak, who also took three bonus points for third place on the rally-ending Power Stage, climbed to second in the drivers' standings and is just 13 points from the lead. Meanwhile, Latvala, who finished fourth on the Power Stage, moved up to fifth place.
Commenting on the victory, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: "Following Finland and Germany, we at GAZOO Racing have achieved excellent results for the third consecutive rally. I really appreciate the fans who are supporting us from all over the world. Rally Turkey was very tough and beyond our imagination. To have run through such roads and reached the finish with these great results, I appreciate the drivers, co-drivers and all team members. Thank you all and congratulations.”
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GAZOO Racing to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand. Underlining Toyota’s belief that roads build people and people build cars, GAZOO Racing highlights the role of motorsports as a fundamental pillar of Toyota’s commitment to making ‘ever-better’ cars. Harnessing years of experience gained under the extreme
conditions of various motorsports events, GAZOO Racing aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring freedom, adventure and joy of driving to everyone.
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