WRC 2021: Rovanperä claims the championship lead

Want to know how the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team is doing during the 2021 WRC season? Then this is where you need to be. We’ll update this page with the results after every event throughout the season.

Round Two: Arctic Rally Finland

Kalle Rovanperä has become the youngest ever driver to lead the FIA World Rally Championship standings after finishing in a strong second place on home ground at Arctic Rally Finland, securing the position with the fastest time on the Power Stage in his Toyota Yaris WRC.

The Flying Finn and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen were among the pacesetters from the beginning of the rally, and were holding onto second overall by just 1.8 seconds at the beginning of the final day – a margin they narrowly extended.

On the rally-ending Power Stage, Rovanperä achieved the best time by 0.3s, securing second overall by 2.3s – the best result of his WRC career to-date. He now leads the championship for the first time in his career by four points over his nearest rival.

Elfyn Evans finished in fifth position and is now joint third in the championship with his team-mate Sébastien Ogier, who finished in 20th position.

Round one: Rallye Monte Carlo

Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia scored their 50th WRC win at Monte Carlo, after trading the lead early on with their Toyota Yaris WRC team-mates. With Elfyn Evans finishing runner-up, the one-two finish marks the first time that the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team has won the championship’s most prestigious event, having made the podium every year since 2017. It is the fourth Rallye Monte-Carlo win in Toyota’s history, coming on the 30th anniversary of its maiden victory in 1991.

The Toyota team led the rally from the third stage early on Friday morning, with Rovanperä, Ogier and then Evans all taking turns in the lead over the course of the rally’s longest day. On his home event, Ogier claimed back the lead with a storming stage win on Saturday’s first test. He took a 13-second advantage over Evans into the final day, when he won three of the four stages – including the rally-ending Power Stage – to begin the defence of his title in style.

With second place Evans also makes a strong start to his championship campaign, while Kalle Rovanperä came home fourth, just missing out on the top three due to tyre damage.

WRC 2021: Preview

The WRC 2021 season sees new changes to the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team with the debut of a new livery for the Toyota Yaris WRC So far, the car has achieved 17 victories in the WRC (winning over one-third of the events it has taken part in) and 322 stage wins. After the manufacturers’ title of 2018, it has been taken to back-to-back drivers’ and co-drivers’ crowns in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, the team’s aim is to secure the full set of championship titles.

Behind the scenes, Jari-Matti Latvala becomes Team Principle.

The team retains the same driver line-up for the second consecutive season. Defending champion Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia return alongside Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin, who finished as runners-up last year.

Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen will look to build upon their promising rookie campaign, in which they finished fifth in the championship.

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