Wed 22 May 2024

"Calm approach" helped Ogier in Portugal, believes Toyoda

Toyota Gazoo Racing president Akio Toyoda has praised a calmer team approach which helped Sébastien Ogier score successive World Rally Championship victories last time out in Portugal.

Toyoda admitted he was impressed, once again, with the Frenchman’s approach to land a record-breaking sixth win at Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

“No matter how tough the gravel surface was, Séb was always calm,” he said. “No matter how close and electrifying the competition was, Seb was always smiling to the fans. When something happened, he calmly informed the engineers about the situation and got back to the stages.

“Then he comes back to the finish line faster than anyone else. I am grateful to have such a true professional driver in our team.”

Toyoda admitted issues for Ogier’s team-mates were frustrating. He added: “There was both a disappointing thing and a good thing. The disappointing thing was that the other three cars were not able to drive through without problems. Our goal was for all four cars to have a trouble-free rally, but it became a frustrating result for us again.

“On the other hand, the good thing which made me happy was that the team was calmer than before, whatever kind of problem they were facing. Many things happened during the weekend, but I heard everyone tried to stay calm and find a solution.

“It is nice to see the team grow. The team gets stronger as each member gets stronger, and as the team gets stronger, the GR Yaris Rally1 will become ever better and stronger. We still have a lot of tough events ahead of us this season, but I hope to continue to grow with everybody in the team.”

Despite Ogier’s win, Hyundai moved ahead of Toyota for the first time this season. The Frankfurt-based team heads to round six four points clear at the top of the manufacturers’ championship table.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM