TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Secures Double Podium Finish to Start Season Strong in Monte-Carlo

18 Feb 2024

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing (TGR) World Rally Team (WRT) has started the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) with a double podium finish with its GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric vehicles at Rallye Monte-Carlo. With the second and third place finishes, Toyota currently leads the manufacturers’ championship by one point.

Sébastien Ogier placed second in the No. 17 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle with Elfyn Evans finishing the competition third in the No. 33 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Both drivers were involved in an exciting fight for victory throughout the event into the rally-ending Power Stage which saw Ogier return to his hometown to compete following first-place victory at the Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2023.

Akio Toyoda, TGR-WRT Chairman, commented: “The start of our eighth WRC season was a new step for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT. Nine years ago, on 15 January 2015, I announced Toyota’s return to the WRC and explained the following: ‘Rally is the best place to strengthen people and cars because it is a sport in which you compete using cars based on production vehicles on the roads that our customers use in their daily life.”

Toyoda added, “For TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, WRC is not just a competition to win. We compete in WRC to make ever-better cars and make more people smile. The joys and disappointments we have experienced over the 85 events so far have led even closer to the cars for our customers. This is a very big step. We were not able to clinch first-place this time, but the continuous efforts of the team will certainly lead to achieving that success in future events. I trust Jari-Matti will lead the team like past years to continue to work hard and to make the 2024 season a great year.”

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin made an excellent start to their 2024 season at the beginning of the rally during the night of Day One, securing an early lead that they held until Day Three. Ogier triumphantly claimed the lead during Day Four when he recorded the 700th stage win of his WRC career and ultimately went into the final day just 3.3 seconds away from the first-place finisher.

The oldest and most recognizable event on the WRC calendar, Rallye Monte-Carlo is also considered one of the most demanding thanks to unpredictable weather conditions, which can bring ice and snow to the asphalt roads. The new and improved GR YARIS Rally1 Hybrid Electric Vehicle trumped the challenges of the championship equipped with strengthened functionality including new updates to further improve low-speed responses and torque curves.
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 TGR, ‎to consolidate all of its motorsport activities under one in-house brand. Representing ‎Toyota’s belief that ‘the roads build the people, and the people build the cars,’ TGR 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, TGR aims to forge new technologies and solutions that bring the freedom, adventure, and joy of driving to everyone.

The upcoming Rally Sweden on 15-18 February is the next competition of the season and the only full winter event taking place on snow and ice. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has had new studs inserted into team members’ tires to grip into the track allowing drivers and vehicles to deliver some of the highest speeds of the year.

Race Notes: 

  • No. 17 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID Electric Vehicle (Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais)
    • Position: 2nd
    • Total time: 3 hours, 9 minutes, and 47 seconds
  • No. 33 Toyota GR YARIS Rally1 HYBRID Electric Vehicle (Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin)
    • Position 3rd
    • Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes, and 16.1 seconds