Latvala hails “shared desire for success” in Toyota WRC title clean sweep

Latvala hails “shared desire for success” in Toyota WRC title clean sweep

Toyota completed a clean sweep of WRC titles this year by wrapping up the manufacturers’ crown in style, and with a round to spare, after Sebastien Ogier clinched victory at Rally Spain, with Kalle Rovanpera finishing third.

The coveted manufacturers’ title followed one round after Toyota pairing Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen secured the drivers’ and co-drivers’ world titles in New Zealand earlier this month.

Toyota is now the third most successful marque in WRC history behind Lancia and Citroen, with this year’s success adding to titles recorded in 1993, 1994, 1999, 2018 and 2021.

The Japanese brand has been the team to beat following the WRC’s introduction of new Rally1 hybrid regulations, winning seven of the 12 events to date with its brand new GR Yaris. Rovanpera took wins in Sweden, Croatia, Portugal, Kenya, Estonia and New Zealand, before Ogier’s success in Spain.

Reflecting on a second clean sweep of titles in as many seasons, Latvala, who only became team principal last year, attributed the success to the hard work and passion of the entire workforce.

“Honestly I’m really proud of the team and I think it this comes when you have the combination of the team working hard and a shared passion and desire for success,” said Latvala.

“At the end of the day the most important thing is for everybody to work together. If you have great individuals it doesn’t help, you have to get everybody working together.

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

“And it is not just the team but also our drivers because I see that they are working together and that’s why we are able to make a car that is fast, reliable, and then it helps to have people in the team who are willing to make the car as fast as possible and reliable as possible.

“A second manufacturers’ title in a row is really nice to achieve it.

“For sure, it is different to the first one. This time I would say we were a bit stronger and of course Kalle was really strong this season and I would say that our car was more reliable.

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“After the first six months we knew we had the difference so then we basically could then control it. Last year it was tighter and tighter throughout the year but the first six months was very good for us this year.”

Amid Toyota’s success the team is yet to officially confirm its driver line-up for next year, although it is expected an announcement could arrive before the season-ending Rally Japan next month.

Latvala again hinted that his wish is to retain the current line-up of Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans, Takamoto Katsuta and a factory car shared by Ogier and Esapekka Lappi.

“We haven’t confirmed the line-up for next year but I would also say that if you win all the championships is there a point to change anything?,” he added.

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