The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has has concluded the 2021 WRC season by clinching the manufacturers’ title with a one-two finish at the final round while Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed their eighth drivers’ and co-drivers’ crowns in style with victory.
Ogier and Ingrassia went up against their team-mates Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin in the final-round showdown at Monza and the two crews engaged in an epic battle for victory throughout the weekend, swapping the lead between them six times. They came into the final day of three tricky stages around Monza separated by just half a second – and then set identical times on the morning’s opening test. A stall for Evans in the penultimate stage ultimately decided the rally victory in the favour of Ogier, who knew a podium finish would be enough to secure the title.
The win was the fifth of the season for Ogier and Ingrassia after victories in Monte Carlo, Croatia, Sardinia and Kenya. It was their 54th WRC win together in what was the final event of their full-time careers: Ogier will contest a part-time schedule with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing in 2022 while Ingrassia steps out of the co-driver’s seat after a highly-successful career.
Evans and Martin secured the fifth Toyota one-two of the season, and finish runner-up in the championship for the second year in a row after victories in Portugal and Finland.
Alongside their team-mates, Kalle Rovanperä and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen were key to the manufacturers’ championship success after claiming their first career victories in Estonia and Greece this year. At the final round they were exemplary team players, focusing on a clean finish in ninth overall to ensure the manufacturers’ title was secured.
This is the fifth time Toyota has won the manufacturers’ championship – putting it joint third on the all-time list of titles – and the second since it returned to the sport in 2017 with the Yaris WRC. This was the 26th and final victory achieved by the car in the final event of the World Rally Car era before hybrid-powered Rally1 cars are introduced in 2022.
TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta finished seventh overall with co-driver Aaron Johnston, overcoming contact in the penultimate test to set the second-fastest time in the rally-ending Power Stage after a superb job by the team’s mechanics to repair his car in just a 15-minute service.