TOYOTA GAZOO Racing competed in the second race of the FIA World Rally Championship in the Finnish Arctic Rally, which consists of stages covered with snow and ice.
The young driver of the team, Flying Finn Kalle Rovanperä, completed the race in second place and became the youngest driver to lead the WRC Drivers' Championship. Having performed successfully in the race at home, Rovanperä also scored extra points by scoring the fastest time in the Power Stage at the end of the rally with the Yaris WRC.
20-year-old Rovanperä and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen were among the pace-setters from the beginning to the end of the rally, finishing second with only 17.5 seconds ahead of the leader. Thus Rovanperä achieved the best result of his WRC career. Elfyn Evans of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing rally team finished fifth in the rally, while his teammate Sébastien Ogier ranked 20th in the classification after problems. In the Power Stage, he managed to gain 1 point despite his disadvantageous road position.
With these results, Kalle Rovanperä took the lead in the Pilots' Championship, while Toyota maintained its leadership in the Brands Championship. TGR WRC Challenge Program pilot Takamoto Katsuta once again achieved the best result of his career, as in Monte Carlo, taking sixth place in the final stage. Evaluating the Finnish Arctic Rally, team captain Jari-Matti Latvala underlined the high performance of Rovanperä and said, “We are still leading both championships. We should have been pleased with this situation, but of course we wanted more. We were aiming to win here because the team had a home rally. " he spoke.
Kalle Rovanperä, the new leader of the WRC, stated that he was very pleased to take the second place and said, “It was an extremely difficult weekend. We really pushed it hard and we were not always at our optimum pace, but we were constantly involved in the struggle. We put out everything we had in the Power Stage and got really good points here. It's really nice to lead the championship for the first time and be in this position. The next race will be different for me, now we need to keep our pace and be stable, ”he said.
In the 2021 WRC season, the third leg will be the Rally of Croatia, another completely new race on the calendar. The rally between 22-25 April will be held on asphalt stages around the capital city of Zagreb.