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GR Yaris Tames African Boonies With a 1-2-3-4 Finish, Rovanpera Wins 2022 WRC Safari Rally

When Toyota unveiled the GR Yaris in September 2020, in Tokyo, Japan, they said their ultimate goal was “to ensure the performance demanded by the extreme world of WRC is delivered to all drivers.” In June 2022, Toyota relived their 1993 victory in Kenya with a 1-2-3-4 finish at the 2022 WRC Safari Rally Kenya, a first in World Rally Championship in 12 years.
Toyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC FinishSafari Rally Kenya 9 photos
Toyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaToyota Gazoo Racing 1-2-3-4 WRC Finish Safari Rally KenyaThierry Neuville
Kalle Rovanpera was a title favorite from day one. During the 5.4 km (3.3 mi) shakedown in Loldia, he finished first, five-tenths of a second ahead of Thierry Neuville driving a Hyundai i20 N. The 21-year-old rally driver chalked up his fourth FIA WRC victory of the season, taming the torrid rally tracks of the Kenyan Great Rift Valley.

After the triumphant win by 52.8-seconds in his GR Yaris Rally1, the confident rally champion said, “It feels great! I have to say, this was the hardest rally I have ever done, and to be honest, we just have to thank the team.

Rovanpera’s triumphant win extends his lead in the driver’s standings to 65 points. There are still seven rounds to go and 210 points to gain.

Taming the African wilderness wasn’t a walk in the park. From Friday through to Saturday, the crews plowed through thick sweltering dust. Things took a dramatic 360-degree turn when mother nature drastically changed the mood, turning the rally levels a notch higher to wet conditions and torturous storms. The crews went from dry burnouts in foot-long deep sand to wadding through knee-deep mud baths and rocky gravel.

Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Elfyn Evans continued his impressive driving streak, finishing 49.9-seconds ahead of teammate Takamoto Katsuta and in fourth place, reining WRC Champion Sebastien Ogier. Thierry Neuville finished fifth, driving a Hyundai i20 N.

A 1-2-3-4 finish isn’t common in World Rally Championships. If anything, it’s a first-time occurrence in more than a decade. While a chunk of the success is due to unmatched driving capabilities and team effort, it’s not difficult to note the GR Yaris’ unrelenting contribution to the phenomenal win.

Team Gazoo Racing’s GR Yaris sensational performance in the three-day rally event that led to a 1-2-3-4 victory was nothing short of remarkable.





 
 
 
 
 

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