DUBAI: GAZOO Racing World Rally Team celebrated its first win of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season recently after Ott Tänak clinched a dominant victory in round two at Rally Sweden in the No. 8 Toyota Yaris WRC.
It is the second win in three years for the Toyota Yaris WRC at the event, which was the scene of its maiden triumph in 2017. Tänak also won the rally-ending Power Stage to secure maximum points.
The drivers faced difficult conditions throughout the race, as warm temperatures caused the ice and snow to melt. Tänak ended the second day by taking the No. 8 Toyota Yaris WRC within two seconds of the rally lead, and capitalized on his better road position on the third day to open up an advantage of nearly a minute over the competition.
On the last day, he drove the No. 8 Toyota Yaris WRC carefully through the opening two stages and was the fastest on the Power Stage by 3.5 seconds to claim the five available bonus points. Co-driven by Martin Järveoja, Tänak now leads the drivers’ championship standings for the first time in his career. The victory also places GAZOO Racing at the top of the manufacturers’ leaderboard, sealing a spectacular start to the season for the team.
Over the years, Toyota has been participating in many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Toyota’s participation in these events was overseen by separate entities within the company until April 2015, when Toyota established GAZOO Racing (GR), to consolidate all of its motorsports activities under one in-house brand.