Rally Japan - 4th Day: Toyota triumphs in its home event as Evans beats his teammates

At the end of the final day, Elfyn Evans is the winner of this year's Rally Japan with Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera completing the podium positions.

Elfyn Evans takes his third victory of 2023 and ends his season in a positive way as he finished in second place overall on the drivers' championship, but the most important is that he was the top Toyota driver on his team's home event.

Sebastin Ogier remained second overall and lost more ground today compared to his teammate Evans as their final gap is over one minute.

Kalle Rovanpera completes the 1-2-3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing in a historic result for the Japanese team.

Esapekka Lappi splits the Toyota trio from Takamoto Katsuta as EP denied to give his fourth place to the local star. Despite the fact that the Hyundai driver was slower on the first passes from the three first Sunday stages, he asked from his mechanics to make some small changes to his i20N for the second loop with the intention of his finding an extra speed to defend his fourth position.

Takamoto Katsuta stole Ott Tanak's fifth place at the end of Stage 19 and was the fastest driver in SS19 and SS21. Last but not least, it must be mentioned that he was very lucky in Stage 19 as he touched a barrier which bounced his Yaris back to the road.

Tanak finished in sixth position overall on his final race with M-Sport Ford before his joining Hyundai in 2024. The Estonian lost time in SS17 when he understeered into an escape road on the final corner of the stage while he kept behind Katsuta for 0,4 seconds at the end of SS18. In addition to that, he stated that it was like driving with a front puncture which means that he had zero grip. However, he was the second-fastest driver in PS and scored four extra Powerstage points. 

Andreas Mikkelsen, Nikolay Gryazin, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Hiroki Arai complete the top ten.

Thierry Neuville finished outside the top ten and set the fastest time in SS17, SS18, SS20 and SS22. He scored the five maximum poits in Powerstage as he was the fastest driver there.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after the end of Rally Japan:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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