Official: Toyota confirms its driver line-up for 2022

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT announced today the drivers with which will compete in next season's Championship.

Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera will be Toyota's main drivers for 2022 and they will partipate in all WRC events as both of them are title contenders.

Sebastien Ogier will continue with the Japanese team as a part-timer as he will compete in WEC next year, but for sure he will be behind the wheel of the Yaris at Rallye Monte Carlo.

Esapekka Lappi is officially announced as Toyota driver and he will share the third car of the team with Ogier, but it is yet to confirm in which events EP will take part in.

Lappi was in Toyota in 2017 and in 2018 and he took his first ever win in WRC with the Yaris at Rally Finland 2017.

There were many rumors about who would be the driver of the third Yaris, but Lappi was in the strongest position for this according to Jari-Matti Latvala who said at the end of last week's Rally Finland that he would propose EP to Toyota in Japan after his P4 in that event.

"I am very happy to have such a strong line-up of drivers heading into 2022 and an exciting new era for the WRC", Latvala said.

"It’s very nice to have Elfyn and Kalle continuing with us as drivers who can fight for the championship. 

"Elfyn is a really consistent driver, always helping to get the points for the team towards the championship, but as he proved with his victory on Rally Finland, he’s also absolutely one of the fastest drivers and definitely one of the contenders to win the title. 

"We have seen really great performances from Kalle this year. 

"He is developing all the time and as he gains more and more experience, he can also become a strong contender for championships. Seb is a great champion and he will be really valuable for us again next season, even though he will no longer be targeting the drivers’ title for himself. 

"Finally, I’m delighted to bring Esapekka back into the team. 

"He proved with us before that he can win, and since then I think he has been growing a lot. 

"His motivation is very high, and he showed his speed on his return last weekend. 

"I believe he is the perfect driver to share the seat with Seb, to help us in the championship but also be there to fight for victories himself".

Elfyn Evans said about his renewal with Toyota: "I’m really pleased to continue driving with the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team. 

"I have very much enjoyed my time here so far over the past two years, and to win for the team on its home rally in Finland last weekend was an extra-special feeling for me. 

"Now we are getting ready to enter a new phase with new regulations, and I’m excited to work with everyone in the team to do the best job we can in developing the Rally1 car and trying to achieve the best results possible next season. 

"Before then, I’m keen to round off this year on a strong note and help to secure the championship for the team".

Moreover, Kalle Rovanpera said: "I’m very happy to be staying with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. 

"My first two years with the team have been really good. 

"I have been learning a lot, and the team has given me the chance to learn and to drive in my own way without big pressure. 

"We have a really major change coming for next year with a totally new car, and it’s going to be a big challenge for the whole team. 

"But it’s really positive to already be familiar with the team when we’re developing the car together and to be able to provide our own ideas as drivers. 

"The team is putting a lot of work into it and I’m excited to help them in the best way possible".

From his side, Sebastien Ogier stated: "I’m looking forward to having more time with my family after this year, but at the same time I’m very happy to remain with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and having the chance to compete in some rallies next year. 

"I’m very thankful to the team for giving me this opportunity to keep doing on a partial basis what I love to do. 

"The schedule of events is not clear yet, but I will do my best to help the team in the manufacturers’ championship and to develop the car. 

"I’m excited to see what this new generation of cars bring to the sport and I know the team is putting a lot of effort into it".

Finally, Esapekka Lappi said about his return to Toyota: "I am very, very happy to be returning to the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team. 

"It feels like I’m coming home. 

"I have some great memories from the past and it was really nice to work with people from the team again at Rally Finland. 

"As soon as I got back into the Yaris WRC, it felt again like this was my car. 

"Of course, for next year we will have a new car and although I have not driven it yet, it seems like it will be very different with the new regulations. 

"But it will be interesting to be a part of it and I’m very excited about the future".

Source: Toyota

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