Toyota Gazoo Racing Gears Up for Snow and Ice Battle in Sweden
Set to compete at the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship this week is the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team which aims to maintain its victory on the snow and ice of Rally Sweden.
Round two of the 2023 FIA WRC is earmarked to take place from the 9th until the 12th of February in Sweden, and the Gazoo team will still have four cars in action.
In 2017, Jari-Matti Latvala emerged victorious in TGR's second outing, and since then, the team has won three times in the past three events in Sweden. The 2022 win includes the maiden victory for the Yaris Rally1 Hybrid car with Kalle Rovanperä at the helm.
This year, the reigning champion Rovanperä returns to lead the pack, but with two new drivers joining the main three-car line-up. Takamoto Katsuta, the Japanese sensation, is ready to step up to the WRC stage after his breakthrough WRC2 win in 2018, and a fourth-place finish in 2022. Meanwhile, Elfyn Evans, who won in Sweden in 2020, will also be in the mix.
And the fourth car? It will be driven by Italy's Lorenzo Bertelli, the first customer driver to compete in the GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid.
The 2022 iteration of Sweden's rally moved to Umeå, where drivers faced extreme conditions and lightning-fast roads. This year, the rally race kicks off on Thursday evening with a short sprint stage in Umeå, followed by two loops of three stages on Friday.
"I'm really excited for Rally Sweden. Driving on snow feels familiar and comfortable for me, and I like these conditions. Being one of the team's three nominated drivers may bring a little bit more pressure than I'm used to, but this position is where I have really wanted to be", says Katsuta of driver car 18.