Toyota has finalized its plans for the 2022 season and extra particularly its crews. The Japanese producer confirms at this time that Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä would be the starters and leaders subsequent yr, whereas the third automotive shall be shared between Sébastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi.
The French driver had lengthy expressed his want to take part in a number of rallies with a partial program from subsequent season, however Toyota nonetheless needed to resolve to decide on who would reap the benefits of the free wheel on the opposite rounds. Large favourite for a while, Lappi will certainly return to the Toyota fold, the place he performed in 2017 and 2018 with a victory in Rally Finland.
“I’m very completely happy to have such a powerful line-up for 2022 and the thrilling new period of the WRC”, enthuses Jari-Matti Latvala, staff director. “It’s extremely cool to see Elfyn and Kalle proceed to combat within the Championship. Elfyn is a really constant driver, who at all times helps to attain factors for the staff within the Championship, however as he proved in his victory in Finland he’s additionally one of many quickest and clearly a contender for the title. “
“We’ve seen nice performances from Kalle this yr. He’s always enhancing and whereas gaining increasingly expertise he can even grow to be a powerful candidate for the championship. Seb is a good champion and he shall be very priceless to us once more subsequent season, though he’ll now not be aiming for the drivers title. Lastly, I’m delighted to see Esapekka again within the squad. He has confirmed to us previously that he can win, and I believe since then he has matured so much. His motivation could be very robust and he confirmed his velocity when he got here again final weekend. I believe he’s the proper driver to share the wheel with Seb and assist us within the championship, but additionally to combat for victories. “
Lappi made a profitable comeback at Rally Finland final weekend with a fourth place end that undoubtedly satisfied Toyota. He’ll make his comeback subsequent yr after dropping his place at M-Sport on the finish of 2020, the place he had discovered refuge after the Citroën program ended within the WRC.
Ingrassia ends her profession
For this taking of a step again and a transition to a partial program, with out it being but identified on which particular rallies he shall be current, Sébastien Ogier will flip an essential web page since this aspect of uncertainty will result in the top of his collaboration with Julien Ingrassia. The latter determined to finish his profession. Collectively, the 2 have conquered seven world titles and are at the moment in rivalry for an eighth. Benjamin Veillas shall be Ogier’s new co-pilot in 2022.
“I am unable to wait to spend extra time with my household after this yr, however on the similar time I am completely happy to stick with Toyota Gazoo Racing and have an opportunity to take part in some rallies subsequent yr.”, explains Ogier. “I’m very grateful to the staff for giving me this chance to proceed to partially do what I like. The rally schedule just isn’t but clear, however I’ll do my finest to assist the staff via. constructors’ championship and to develop the automotive. I am excited to see what this new technology of automobiles will deliver, and I do know the staff is working onerous on it. “
“Julien will finish his profession on the finish of the yr. I respect his choice 100%, at a time once I too will cut back the tempo. We regularly spotlight the qualities of the drivers within the WRC, however the co-driver is crucial and Julien has been a centerpiece of our success. From my debut in rallying and for 16 years, Julien has been there. We constructed every thing collectively, progressed collectively, found the WRC and made our goals come true … We has achieved greater than we dared to dream of, changing into seven occasions World Champions up to now! Now we now have two rallies to complete in model! “
“Julien, in my eyes it’s unequivocal: you’re the better of the co-pilots. Who is aware of what my profession would have been with out you? A really huge thanks for every thing as a result of I do know what I owe you and you’ll be not possible to interchange. I want you one of the best, take pleasure in life! “
Alternatively, Toyota has not but confirmed the dedication of a fourth Yaris for Takamoto Katsuta, anticipated to learn from a program much like that of this yr in 2022.