Spain is the placement for a triple championship problem for Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) this week. TGR groups are within the operating to clinch the producers’ crown within the World Rally Championship (WRC) on Rally de España and for Dakar victors Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel to assert the drivers’ title within the climax of the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). The W2RC producers’ honours are additionally inside TGR’s grasp.
The penultimate spherical of the WRC (18-23 October) offers Toyota Gazoo Racing the prospect to observe up its success final day out at Rally New Zealand. There, Kalle Rovanperä grew to become the competitors’s youngest champion driver, whereas his accomplice Jonne Halttunen sealed the co-driver’s title.
The staff head to Spain with an 81-point lead within the producers’ standings, with a most 52 obtainable from every of the 2 remaining rounds. Meaning a rating of 23 factors (equal to at least one automotive ending within the prime three and one other within the prime six) will likely be sufficient to take the title earlier than the season-ending Rally Japan.
Rovanperä will likely be joined in Spain by his common teammate Elfyn Evans, who completed second on the asphalt occasion final 12 months, and Sébastien Ogier, beforehand a three-time winner of the rally. Takamoto Katsuta will likely be making his fifth Spanish begin – his third on the WRC’s prime degree – in his TGR WRT Subsequent Technology entry.
Rally de España relies in Salou on the Costa Dorada, about an hour’s drive south of Barcelona. After 10 editions as a mixed-surface occasion, it returned final 12 months to being run solely on clean, flowing asphalt rounds round Catalunya.
A lot of the itinerary is just like final 12 months, however the rally will start with two new levels north of Salou. Two extra acquainted levels conclude a loop of 4 checks to be repeated within the afternoon after service. Saturday is nearly equivalent to earlier years, with a trio of checks to the north-east to be run twice, adopted by a stage on the Salou seafront to spherical out the day. The Pratdip and Riudecanyes levels are run twice on the ultimate day and the second go of the latter check – recognized for its crowd-pleasing roundabouts – will host the rally-ending Energy Stage.
Group Principal Jari-Matti Latvala mentioned: “There may be now one goal remaining for us which is to win the producers’ championship. We’re not far-off from it and an important factor in Spain will likely be to convey two automobiles to the end and rating the factors we’d like. That is the primary goal however in fact we additionally hope to have the pace to struggle for the rally victory. The GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid has been aggressive on all of the asphalt rallies to this point this season and we’re assured that may be the case in Spain as effectively.”
In the meantime, within the deep south of the nation, Rally Andalucia (19-23 October) will convey the 2022 FIA W2RC collection to a conclusion. Having pushed the brand new Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ to victory on its debut on this 12 months’s Dakar Rally, Nasser Al-~Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel picked up additional priceless factors in Morocco final week to steer the drivers’ championship going into the collection’ closing spherical.
Their marketing campaign has been helped by participation in non-championship occasions the place they’ve been capable of develop the racing Hilux’s efficiency. These included the Qatar Worldwide Baja, the place Al-Attiyah and Baumel delivered a flawless drive to win the race. The staff had been resulting from put together for this week’s contest with a check programme in japanese Spain.
The Andalucia Rally, primarily based within the metropolis of Dos Hermanos, includes a brief opening prologue on Wednesday to find out the beginning order, adopted by a aggressive stage on every of the subsequent 4 days. The full racing distance is 630 miles.