SEARCH

Search through our catalogue for PIAA products by name or part number. Find bulbs and wipers for your vehicle.


>> Home
>> Lamps
>> Bulbs
>> Pods
>> Wipers
>> Dealers
>> Motorsport

PIAA manufacture high performance lamp systems and accessories for all motoring and motorsport applications.

Established in 1963, PIAA has forged a reputation for top quality and continuous product innovation, improving visibility and safety for drivers all over the world

 

 

PIAA MOTORSPORT

Back

TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WORLD RALLY TEAM

PIAA is an official Partner of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT


2021 WRC Calendar - See www.wrc.com
1 Rallye Monte-Carlo 21 - 24 January
2 Artic Rally Finland 26 - 28 February
3 Croatia Rally 22 - 25 April
4. Rally Portugal 20 -23 May
5. Rally Italia Sardinia 3 - 6 June
6. Rally Kenya 24 - 27 June
7. Rally Estonia 15 - 18 July
8. Rally Finland 29 July - 1 August
9. Rally Belgium 13 - 15 August
10 Rally Chile 9 - 12 September
11. Rally Spain 14 - 17 October
12. Rally Japan 11 - 14 November

 

PRESS RELEASE: 27 June 2012

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing claims first and second on SafariRally Kenya

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is celebrating victory in the first Safari Rally Kenya to be held as part of the FIA World Rally Championship for nearly 20 years. Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia pulled off a superb fightback to take their fourth win from six events and extend their championship lead, while Takamoto Katsuta scored his first ever WRC podium to complete a one-two finish for the Toyota Yaris WRC.

The event lived up to its reputation as an extremely demanding rally, with many of the crews experiencing difficulties over the weekend. Ogier was seventh overall and more than two minutes off the lead after suffering an issue on Friday morning, but he charged back through the field.

He was third overall going into the final day, consisting of five short but very challenging stages. Already in the first stage of the day, trouble befell the erstwhile leader, and this promoted Katsuta into the lead of a rally for the first time, with Ogier close behind.

With just two stages to go the Toyota pair were tied on overall time, and were able to compete fully with each other for the win right until the finish. Ogier claimed his seventh stage win of the weekend to move ahead before the one-two finish – the fourth such result for Toyota this season – was secured in the rally-ending Power Stage. The victory is the ninth claimed by Toyota in the history of the Safari Rally.

Taking two additional bonus points in the Power Stage, Ogier’s championship lead is now up to 34 points ahead of team-mate Elfyn Evans, who remains second in the standings.

Katsuta’s maiden podium finish is a landmark result for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program, which has helped to develop the Japanese driver’s talent since 2015.

All four Toyota Yaris WRC crews finished inside the top 10. Kalle Rovanperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen were in the battle for the lead on Friday before becoming stuck in deep ruts in the day’s final stage. They could still finish sixth overall, and took second in the Power Stage.

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin retired in Friday’s second stage but restarted on Saturday, and on Sunday they climbed back into 10th place overall as well as taking third in the Power Stage.

These points mean the team has further increased its lead in the manufacturers’ standings to 59 points at the halfway stage of the season.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“Seb and Julien, congratulations! To our fans, thank you very much for your strong support!

However, please allow me to let out this feeling first today:
Takamoto, it was fantastic! I’m very happy with what he has achieved. He started the final day ahead of Seb, kept running for the victory and finally stood on the podium. It was so impressive that I was shaking. Since this afternoon, I have been communicating with his father a lot. Both of us were so anxious and not able to do anything else. I am lucky that I was off today. He has completed the rally on those very harsh roads which he has never experienced before, fighting for victory with the world’s top drivers. I think, in this rally alone, he has grown up a lot more than he did before. There are six rallies left in this season, and the last one is Rally Japan. It is going to be very exciting.

In this rally, I also recognised again how strong a driver Seb is. It was easy to imagine the roughness of the roads in Kenya. Due to his excellent tyre management skills, he caught Takamoto and overtook him in the last three stages. I am very thankful that we have this respected driver in our team and his presence leads to the progress of other team members as well.

I would also like to express my appreciation to all of the team. A WRC round was held in Kenya for the first time after 19 years. It was the first experience for everybody. Thanks to engineers who kept analysing the information from recce, the crews could drive with confidence. Our success in Kenya was because of every single member both on-site and in Finland.

And of course, my appreciation also goes to Elfyn, Scott, Kalle and Jonne too. Even after they unfortunately had to retire during Friday, they kept on sharing information to the team, which made Seb and Takamoto successful. I promise we improve our rally cars for the second half of the season so that they feel more confident in return for their teamwork.

President Kenyatta made a heartwarming welcome and a strong support for the rally. I also felt a welcoming atmosphere as a country, watching children waving and animals running. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to everyone in Kenya. I hope we will also welcome many rally drivers at Rally Japan with this kind of warm atmosphere

Finally, I offer my appreciation to our family members in Africa, Toyota Tsusho who supported and cheered the team. They also shared what’s happening in the rally with us every time. Thanks to them, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing enjoyed the road in Kenya with confidence like another home country.

Thank you very much! HATU JAMBO! ASANTE SANA!”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“This is a really special day at the end of an amazing weekend. After Friday it was looking tough for us, and now we have a one-two finish on this classic rally, the first for almost 20 years in the WRC. The victory was based on the endurance and the consistency that we showed, as well as the never give-up attitude and the commitment of the team. When Seb had his problem he stayed calm and when he saw the chance he attacked and took the victory. I am also very happy to see Takamoto on the podium for the first time. The steps he has been taking have been amazing and he really deserves this result.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, SAFARI RALLY KENYA
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h18m11.3s
2 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +21.8s

3 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m09.5s
4 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m54.6s
5 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1m54.7s
6 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +10m53.4s
7 Onkar Rai/Drew Sturrock (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +29m26.4s
8 Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan (Ford Fiesta R5) +33m30.4s
9 Carl Tundo/Tim Jessop (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +36m40.7s
10 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +49m22.7s
(For the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What's next?
Rally Estonia (July 15-18) takes place over fast and smooth gravel roads with many crests and jumps, as well as some more technical sections.

 

PRESS RELEASE: June 6, 2021

WFC RALLY SARDINIA

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing scores a remarkable one-two in Sardinia

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has claimed an amazing one-two finish on Rally Italia Sardegna, with Sébastien Ogier scoring his third victory from five events so far this season and Elfyn Evans taking second to complete a remarkable result that extends the team’s advantage in the championship.

The team’s maiden Sardinia win came after a fast and reliable performance from the Toyota Yaris WRC and its drivers, who were able to overcome their disadvantageous positions at the head of the road order on Friday. Ogier was particularly impressive opening the road on Friday, ending the day in third before climbing into the rally lead on Saturday, when Evans also improved his confidence and speed to rise to second.

Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia safely managed their advantage through the final day’s four stages to clinch their fourth Sardinia victory and first since 2015.

Evans, co-driven by Scott Martin, started the final day with a strong stage win in SS17 to increase his advantage over third place, and was also fastest in SS19. In the final stage he was slowed after water entered the car in a watersplash, but the buffer he had built earlier meant his second place was secured.

With two bonus points for the fourth fastest time in the Power Stage, Ogier now leads the championship by 11 points over Evans, who is in turn 18 points ahead of the driver in third.

Taking three bonus points for the third-best time in the Power Stage was Kalle Rovanperä, who together with co-driver Jonne Halttunen had been forced to stop by a technical issue on Friday while running in second position. With the help of their additional points, Toyota now has a 49-point lead in the manufuacturers’ standings.

Three Toyota Yaris WRC crews finished inside the top four, with TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta repeating the personal-best finish of fourth he recorded on the previous round in Portugal to continue his recent progress. On the final day Katsuta took a steady approach to secure the result while his co-driver Dan Barritt was feeling unwell as a result of dehydration due to the heat in Sardinia. Barritt was checked and released by doctors after the finish.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“I’m so proud that the team could finally win in Sardinia for the first time. Finally we could enjoy the tradition of jumping into the sea at the podium, and the one-two finish should make even the salty sea water taste nice. Congratulations!”

“I was there in Sardinia for the rally two years ago. Preparing a towel and a change of clothes, I was already thinking about how to dive in safely. However, the Yaris WRC, which was leading the rally, suddenly slowed down on the final stage. Even now I still feel sorry for Ott who was driving the car back then.”

“Thanks to Seb, Julien, Elfyn and Scott, who drove really well on the very demanding roads in Sardinia, we were able to find out how delicious the sea water is. My appreciation also goes to the team members who have been working to enhance the reliability of the cars. But there is still a lot for us to do, and I’m really sorry for what happened to Kalle and Jonne. I am sure that Jari-Matti, together with all of the team members, will continue making our cars stronger already from tomorrow.”

“Lastly, I would like to thank our fans for their passionate support. The next event is Kenya, which will be a totally new discovery for our team. I appreciate your continued support for us.”

“P.S. To Dan,
We can fix a car over and over, but Takamoto cannot compete without you. I think Takamoto put your health condition first and drove steady at the end. Together you made a very good decision. Please remember that health is always the most important!”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h19m26.4s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +46.0s

3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m05.2s
4 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +6m11.2s
5 Jari Huttunen/Mikko Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5) +9m31.7s
6 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 Rally2) +9m39.2s
7 Yohan Rossel/Alexandre Coria (Citroën C3 Rally2) +10m37.7s
8 Pepe López/Diego Vallejo (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +11m03.7s
9 Jan Solans/Rodrigo Sanjuan de Eusebio (Citroën C3 Rally2) +11m26.3s
10 Marco Bulacia/Marcelo Der Ohannesian (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +11m34.6s
25 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +54m18.8s
(Results as of 15:00 on Sunday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)

What's next?
The iconic Safari Rally Kenya returns to the WRC calendar for the first time in almost 20 years on June 24-27. With a reputation for gruelling conditions, the African gravel event promises to provide an all-new challenge for the current crop of drivers.

 

PRESS RELEASE: May 23, 2021

WRC RALLY PORTUGAL

Evans wins, Ogier on the podium for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team is celebrating its third win and double podium finish from four events so far in 2021 after Elfyn Evans claimed victory at the Rally de Portugal. Sébastien Ogier finished third and continues to lead the drivers’ championship – two points in front of Evans – while the team has extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings.

Along with co-driver Scott Martin, Evans drove a consistent and intelligent rally and was rewarded with the lead on Saturday afternoon. His advantage coming into the final day’s five stages was a narrow 10.7 seconds, but he stormed through the opening test 8.9s quicker than anyone else to almost double his margin. He claimed two further stage wins later during the morning – bringing his tally for the weekend to six – and ultimately sealed victory by 28.3s. It’s the fourth win of his WRC career, and his third since joining Toyota at the start of 2020.

Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia recovered well from the disadvantage of running first on the road on Friday and sweeping the loose gravel stages. Securing third overall, he saved his tyres for the rally-ending Power Stage to try and secure as many points as possible. He set the third-best time, giving him three bonus points and his two-point advantage in the standings over Evans, who was fifth-fastest in the same test as he sealed the overall win.

Finishing a superb fourth place after a fast and consistent weekend, Takamoto Katsuta claimed the best result of his career to-date, driving a Yaris WRC as part of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program.

After retiring due to technical reasons on Saturday afternoon, Kalle Rovanperä restarted this morning, taking the opportunity to gain further knowledge and also setting the fourth-best time in the Power Stage.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“Elfyn and Scott, congratulations and thank you for bringing valuable points to the team. Turning their frustration in Croatia into power, they showed their strength on the difficult roads in Portugal. I would also like to thank our fans for the passionate support throughout the weekend.”

“Takamoto, congratulations on the best result of your career! When I checked the live results in the middle of the event, he was only 1.5 seconds behind Seb who was in third place. I was very impressed when he set the top times in Croatia but I was even more surprised by his progress this time. I expect he will continue to surprise us in the future.”

“As Takamoto becomes a top driver, he will be faced with an environment that he has never experienced before and he may feel worried or lost then. But he can believe in me and my team, as our team always put drivers’ growth first and shares the joy of their improvements. We can continue to grow together.”

“I was at Fuji Speedway this weekend for a 24 hours endurance race. I used a kind of “magic word” to my team at Fuji and I heard Jari-Matti also used the word to the team in Portugal. I always feel that Jari-Matti and I are working together nearby even though we are physically so far apart. I really appreciate the team’s hard work during the weekend. Kiitos!Preparation for Sardinia starts right away, so we will keep working hard together.”

Quotes:
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“We are very, very happy with this result. At the beginning of the rally it wasn’t looking like we would finish on the highest step of the podium. But in rallying you have to complete every corner until the end of the very last stage, and in the end we won the rally, which is always a fantastic feeling. Elfyn has been the most consistent driver over the weekend and the performance has been at a high level as well. And generally the team has been doing really good work over the weekend with a lot of positive things to take away: Seb scoring the third place, bringing great points for the championship, and also Takamoto taking his best ever result in fourth. Unfortunately it was a more disappointing rally for Kalle, but I’m sure he will be very motivated to come back strongly.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLY DE PORTUGAL
1 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) 3h38m26.2s
2 Dani Sordo/Borja Rozada (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +28.3s
3 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m23.6s
4 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m28.4s
5 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +4m52.7s
6 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta WRC) +5m03.4s
7 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +9m37.2s
8 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +11m20.0s
9 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 Rally2) +12m01.5s
10 Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +12m35.8s
22 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +22m10.2s

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: April 25, 2021

WRC CROATIA RALLY

Incredible finish delivers TOYOTA GAZOO Racing one-two

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team claimed another one-two finish in a thrilling conclusion to the first ever Croatia Rally held as part of the FIA World Rally Championship. In a final-stage decider that went right down to the last metres, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed the victory by just 0.6 seconds over their team-mates Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin in one of the WRC’s closest ever finishes.

Just 10.4s covered the top three cars going into the final day of the rally, with Ogier 6.9s in front of Evans. In the opening two stages of the final day, Evans was the fastest driver and took the lead away from Ogier – who had earlier been involved in a traffic incident on a road section, from which everybody thankfully came away safely. His car was able to continue in the rally, albeit with damage to the right-side door and aerodynamics.

Evans and Ogier began the deciding Power Stage separated by 3.9s, and needing to push to secure the one-two result with only a narrow margin back to third place. In the end, Ogier was fastest through the stage and claimed the victory, Evans completing 4.5s slower after running wide close to the end. The final winning margin was the third closest in WRC history.

With a maximum points haul, Ogier moves back to the top of the drivers’ standings and the team extends its lead in the manfuacturers’ championship to 27 points.

Takamoto Katsuta claimed his third consecutive sixth-place finish in the Toyota Yaris WRC he drives as part of the TGR WRC Challenge Program, having impressed with his pace and two stage wins on Saturday alongside co-driver Dan Barritt.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“I’m very proud that our crews delivered victory to the team in this new Croatia Rally. To Seb, Julien, and the team, congratulations! Seb and Julien had an unexpected accident on the road section. After this they weren’t able to compete with their car in perfect condition on the final day, but they never gave up and they finally won the rally. I really appreciate their hard work. Elfyn and Scott also did great by finishing so close behind. It’s wonderful that we achieved a one-two finish.”

“It was also great that Takamoto won two stages. It would be nice to say that the advice I gave him when we met in Japan a few weeks ago was helpful, but it’s all about his own improvement through his continual efforts. I’m looking forward to seeing his improvement in the coming events as well. Kalle and Jonne’s rally ended very early. I was relieved to know that they were both OK and I believe they still learned from this rally.”

“Led by Jari-Matti, the team shows its strength in every rally with all team members working together. The events come without much break after the next one Portugal. Taking our health as the first priority, we continue our preparations. To our fans, please continue cheering for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team. We always appreciate your support and encouragement. Thank you very much.”

Quotes:
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“It is so tense and exciting following the action on the stages when our drivers fighting for the victory like they were today. I feel very sorry for Elfyn, he went a little bit wide on the last corner and basically it was lost there, but they both had to push, and Seb did a brilliant final stage. We are happy, we need to be proud of what these guys have done this weekend and for another one-two finish, which is an amazing result for the tea

FINAL CLASSIFICATION, CROATIA RALLY
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h51m22.9s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +0.6s

3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +8.1s
4 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m25.1s
5 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m09.7s
6 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +3m31.8s
7 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m58.8s
8 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +4m28.2s
9 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 Rally2) +10m00.8s
10 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +10m29.3s
Retired Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC)

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: February 28, 2021

WRC RALLY FINLAND

Flying Finn Rovanperä claims the championship lead in the Toyota Yaris WRC

Kalle Rovanperä has become the youngest ever driver to lead the FIA World Rally Championship standings after finishing in a strong second place on home ground at Arctic Rally Finland, securing the position with the fastest time on the rally-ending Power Stage in his Toyota Yaris WRC.

Twenty-year-old Rovanperä and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen were among the pacesetters from the beginning of the rally, and were holding onto second overall by just 1.8 seconds at the beginning of the final day – a margin they extended by 0.1s in the first of the two passes of the Aittaja¨rvi stage.

In the repeat pass on the Power Stage, Rovanperä achieved the best time by 0.3s, securing second overall by 2.3s – the best result of his FIA World Rally Championship career to-date. With the Power Stage win he also claimed the maximum of five bonus points on offer towards both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ standings, and now leads the championship for the first time in his career by four points over his nearest rival.

With Elfyn Evans finishing in fifth position, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team continues to lead the manufacturers’ championship with an 11-point advantage. Evans had been fastest in the first stage of the day as he kept the pressure on in the battle for fourth overall, but ultimately missed out by 8.9s.

He is now joint third in the championship together with team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who restarted on Sunday and claimed one additional point for fifth in the Power Stage despite a disadvantageous road position.

TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta gained sixth place on the very last stage in his Yaris WRC, matching the career-best result he achieved on the opening round of the season in Monte Carlo.

Quotes:
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“Kalle has produced a very very good performance on this rally, managing to maintain second position on the final day and also winning the Power Stage, scoring good points for the team and for himself. Elfyn tried hard to gain fourth but it wasn’t to be. We are still leading both championships so we can be satisfied, but of course we wanted more. This was a home rally for the team and we were hoping to be able to win here. We seemed to be struggling a little bit with the setup so the drivers were not completely happy with the car all of the time. We were fast on some of the stages but then there were some stages where we were not so competitive and we need to analyse why.”

Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“I’m really pleased with the second place. It was quite a difficult weekend, I was pushing really hard and we couldn’t always be on the optimal pace, but we were fighting back all the time. In the Power Stage I gave everything that I had and it was enough, so we got really good points from here. It’s really nice to be in this position now, leading the championship for the first time. It’s going to be a new situation for me going to the next event, and we just have to keep up the pace and be consistent like we have been here.”

1 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) 2h03m49.6s
2 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +17.5s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +19.8s
4 Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +52.6s
5 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m01.5s
6 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1m37.8s

7 Oliver Solberg/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m39.0s
8 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m09.0s
9 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +3m39.4s
10 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) +6m07.0s
20 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +11m06.2s

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: January 24, 2021

Rallye Monte-Carlo

Ogier claims record eighth Monte-Carlo win in Toyota Yaris WRC 1-2

Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia have won the legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo for a record eighth time, leading team-mates Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin in a fantastic one-two finish for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team on the opening round of the 2021 season. Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen finished fourth to complete an amazing weekend for the team.

The victory is also the 50th for Ogier and Ingrassia in the FIA World Rally Championship, becoming only the second competitors to reach the landmark.

This is the first time that the team has won the WRC’s most prestigious event with its Toyota Yaris WRC, having made the podium every year since its debut in 2017. It is the fourth Rallye Monte-Carlo win in Toyota’s history, coming on the 30th anniversary of its maiden victory in 1991.

Rallye Monte-Carlo lived up to its reputation as the most demanding event on the WRC calendar with special challenges for this year’s edition. A modified schedule to follow coronavirus restrictions in France meant that some stages took place before dawn complete with ice and snow. WRC teams also had to get to grips with tyres from the new sole supplier Pirelli on an event where tyre choice is always criticial to the outcome.

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.

Quotes:
Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“The fifth season of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has begun. Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who made it possible for us to compete in the WRC again despite this very difficult time all over the world. And secondly, I would like to send my appreciation to the team who achieved a great result with a one-two finish in the opening round.”

“Seb and Julien, who I am sure achieved this result with pride and responsibility, congratulations on the victory in your home rally, and your 50th win! Elfyn and Scott, thank you for bringing the points for second place! Kalle and Jonne must have been frustrated with the tyre damage on the final day, but you two showed us a great run for sure. Takamoto also completed the rally with further improvement together with Dan. I’m proud that he achieved his highest result ever.

“Since last autumn, the team has put in the maximum effort to make the transition to a new company and organisation. Some team members even kept working through the Christmas holiday to prepare for the new season and this victory under the new structure.”

PROVISIONAL FINAL CLASSIFICATION, RALLYE MONTE-CARLO
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h56m33.7s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +32.6s

3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m13.5s
4 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2m33.6s
5 Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +3m14.2s
6 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +7m01.3s
7 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +7m23.6s
8 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +8m21.1s
9 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (Ford Fiesta Rally2) +9m15.8s
10 Eric Camilli/François-Xavier Buresi (Citroën C3 Rally2) +10m41.0s