Toyota Gazoo Racing target home win to seal season of success

13 November 2023

Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team will seek to wrap up another successful FIA World Rally Championship season with a home win at Rally Japan this week (16-19 November).

Just as in 2022 when the event made a welcome return to the WRC calendar, TGR-WRT will arrive for the final round on Japanese roads having already secured a hat-trick of championship titles. The team clinched the manufacturers’ title at round 11 of 13 in Chile, before Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen claimed their second successive drivers’ and co-drivers’ crowns at last month’s Central European Rally.

Elfyn Evans was a contender for victory in Japan a year ago and arrives in second place in the drivers’ standings, seven points ahead of Thierry Neuville (Hyundai). Sébastien Ogier also showed the pace to win in Japan last year and will aim for the fourth victory of his partial 2023 schedule.

Takamoto Katsuta achieved a memorable podium finish at his home event in 2022 and once again lines up in a fourth GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid with the support of the TGR WRC Challenge Program.

Rally Japan takes place on demanding asphalt roads in the mountains of the Aichi and Gifu prefectures, near the city of Nagoya. Many of these are technical and narrow, twisting through forests with constantly changing grip levels.

The service park will again be located at Toyota Stadium, which this year, in addition to the start and finish ceremonies, will host competitive action. This be a super special, run as the first stage on Thursday evening and again at the end of Friday and Saturday. Friday is the longest day of the rally at 83 competitive miles and includes a familiar trio of stages north-east of Toyota City to be run twice either side of midday service.

Saturday takes the action south around Okazaki, where two passes of a super special will precede a midday tyre fitting zone. The morning’s opening two mountain tests are repeated in the afternoon before a further stage near Shinshiro and the return to Toyota Stadium. Six stages will conclude the rally on Sunday, taking the event north-east to Nakatsugawa where another tyre fitting zone splits two loops of three stages.

Team quotes

Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal): “We are reaching the end of another amazing season for our team. Now that we have secured all three titles once again, the target that remains is to win Rally Japan, which is one of two home events for us. Last year, we could get Takamoto onto the podium in front of his home fans which was very nice, but everybody is motivated to win this time. We will have all four drivers there and they don’t really need to worry about the championship any more, so they are free to attack the rally and target victory. It’s a challenging event because even though it’s a second consecutive rally on asphalt, the roads in Japan are very different to Central Europe. Without the chance to test before the rally, we need to be able to adapt the cars’ set-up accordingly.

Kalle Rovanperä (driver car 69): “I always enjoy going to Japan and it’s going to be nice to go back there having already secured the championship, just as we did last year. The Rally Japan stages are demanding and the roads maybe don’t suit me as well as on some other asphalt rallies. Last year we didn’t have the best performance, so I want to improve on that. It’s a home rally for the team and we all want a better result.”

Elfyn Evans (driver car 33): “Rally Japan is going to be an important rally for me and the team, and we obviously want to finish the season on a high. We were in contention for the win until quite late on last year and would like to put that right. Hopefully we can find thesame 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 these kind of roads beforehand. The set-up 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.”

Sébastien Ogier (driver car 17): “I’m looking forward to Rally Japan. Even though we have already achieved our main targets for the season as a team, as a Toyota driver I still feel a responsibility to try to deliver a home win in Japan. That would be a very special and important result. Personally, I hope it will be better than our last rally, and hopefully the conditions in Japan will be a bit more enjoyable: I think we saw last year that there are not so many opportunities for cutting, so the conditions can remain a bit more stable for everybody regardless of starting position. Hopefully we can have a good fight and end the season on a high.”


Download this release as a PDF below

Toyota Gazoo Racing target home win to seal season of success


Images are copyright free for editorial purposes only

Media enquiries

Please click here to see the press contacts at Toyota (GB):

Show Press Contacts

For further information, please contact:

David Crouch

07909 900 085 or by email at

General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries

Please understand that our press team only deal with enquiries from media representatives.

Toyota and Lexus Press Releases

To receive all Toyota and Lexus press information, please select the box below.

To update your profile type in your email address and press return. MailChimp will then send you an email confirming your details and you will then have the opportunity of amending your details.

* indicates required
All Toyota/Lexus News