Tue 14 Nov 2023

Toyoda tips Evans for Japanese triumph

Toyota Gazoo Racing chairman Akio Toyoda has urged Elfyn Evans to finish the job he started in winning this week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan.

The Welshman led the Toyota City-based event on the first two days, but missed his chance of a maximum score when he damaged a wheel on the last day. He eventually finished fifth, but impressed Toyoda tremendously with his pace on the team’s home event.

Toyoda said: “Elfyn and Scott [Martin, co-driver] missed something in Japan last year. I hope they will collect it this year and let me stand on the podium.”

Reflecting on Evans’ season, Toyoda added: “I also would like to thank Elfyn a lot for his aggressive driving and for not giving up until the end. His driving with the strong desire to win was impressive.”

Evans is ready to rise to the challenge and end his 2023 season on a high by delivering the win he was looking for 12 months ago.

He said: “Rally Japan is going to be an important rally for myself and the team, and we obviously want to finish the season on a high. It’s definitely not an easy rally to go to, but we were in contention for the win until quite late on last year and we would really like to put that right.

“Hopefully we can find that same kind of pace this time around. Even though we know most of the stages from last year, there are still some unknowns because we can’t test on those kind of roads beforehand. The setup is therefore a bit of a guess based on what we had last year and what we’ve learned since, but we will do our best to adapt.”

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