Toyota Wins Season-Opening Rallye Monte-Carlo


 Kurt Verlin

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Yaris WRC shredding snow at Rallye Monte-Carlo
Photograph: Toyota

Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia claimed victory on the Rallye Monte-Carlo for a document eighth time, main a commanding one-two end for the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Group. They led teammates Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin, primarily kicking off the 2021 season the best way the final one ended.

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Yaris WRC at Rallye Monte Carlo, on wet tarmac next to a rock face
Photograph: Toyota

Ogier and Ingrassia, who received the championship in 2020, celebrated their fiftieth profession victory within the WRC, second within the all-time record behind solely the legendary Sébastien Loeb. And whereas Toyota has loved three wins on the coveted Rallye Monte-Carlo previously, this fourth win was the primary for the reason that producer returned to the game in 2017 with the Yaris WRC.

Monte-Carlo is among the most prestigious rallies on the calendar due not simply to its location but in addition its demanding nature. Sometimes thought of one of the grueling rallies within the WRC, it threw much more particular challenges on the drivers due to COVID-19 restrictions that required some phases to be held earlier than daybreak in tough icy and snowy situations.

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Yaris WRC on a damp road winding through snowy landscape
Photograph: Toyota

Each Ogier and Evans had been repeatedly buying and selling the lead over the course of Friday till Ogier put in a decisive efficiency within the first Saturday stage, then constructed up a 13-second benefit earlier than successful three of Sunday’s 4 phases.

“This can be a good begin to the season,” Ogier mentioned later. “Watching this rally as a child gave me the dream to grow to be a driver sooner or later. If I may have just one document, for positive I’d take this one. It has lots of which means for me, and that is additionally the explanation I used to be fairly emotional on the rostrum. The Yaris WRC has been implausible this weekend: I had such a very good feeling within the automobile. I feel it was a very good resolution to do yet another yr. The crew is nice, so an enormous due to all of them.”

Yaris WRC on gravel at Rallye Monte-Carlo
Photograph: Toyota

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