Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT hopes for repeatable success
The year has kicked off dramatically in 2024. The Dakar is officially a wrap, and the WRC is right around the corner. Unfortunately for Toyota, this year wasn’t their year in the Dakar with Audi taking home the title, but if the past three years are anything to go by, then the rally team should be in for a shot this season.
Coming off a third consecutive year of winning the manufacturer, driver, and co-driver titles, there will undoubtedly be a target on their back this season. However, they have a new weapon up their sleeve in the form of the refined GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid.
This new rally car is similar to the previous season's unit, with updates to the engine's strength, improved response at low speeds, and a more usable torque curve. Arguably the most noticeable change to the new car is the livery. The new GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid will come with this new matte black livery, and it certainly looks the part. I'm excited to see what Toyota does with this car as we approach the start of the season.
Four familiar drivers are taking on this season, all of whom are familiar with WRC 1 and are frothing at the mouth to get behind the wheel. The first driver in question is Toyota's golden boy, Kalle Rovanperä. The two-time world rally champion has been the king for the last two seasons and will participate in a select programme for the 2024 season.
The second driver on the block comes with more experience and titles. Sébastien Ogier is an eight-time world champion and will continue to flex his expertise in his Toyota this coming season. Elfyn Evans is the third driver and has shown enormous potential. Despite never winning a world championship, he has proved to be a strong contender throughout his career. Takamoto Katsuta, the final driver in question, has demonstrated his own distinctive potential, and we'll be watching him closely throughout the season.
The new car looks amazing, and the line-up is a promising sight for TGR. The season will kick off with the Rallye Monte-Carlo from January 25–28. Monte-Carlo is notoriously difficult; with constantly changing weather, drivers will need to navigate the snow, ice, and asphalt. It is going to be an exciting season for Toyota, as the team is surely itching to get started.