What are the thoughts of Toyota trio for the 1-2-3 finish at Rally Japan?

Elfyn Evans, Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera share their thoughts and their feelings for what Toyota achieved at Rally Japan last weekend.

Elfyn Evans was the winner of this year's version in Japan and gave to Toyota a remarkable victory as his pace was outstanding during last weekend as the stages were the most demanding of the whole season. At the end of Friday morning, Evans had a comfortable lead over the second Thierry Neuville, but Sebastien Ogier climbed to second overall after Neuville's retirement in Stage 6. Kalle Rovanpera completed the 1-2-3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing and was very close to the eight-World Rally Champion when the stewards gave to Ogier a one-minute time penalty for his late departure from the Friday midday service. According to Jari-Matti Latvala, the 1-2-3 finish was a dream result for Toyota as the car brand was founded in Japan. Finally, Takamoto Katsuta remained behind Esapekka Lappi despite the first one's efforts to steal the fourth place from EP, but his pace with the Yaris was impressive considering his nine stage wins on his home event.

"It’s really nice to be on the top step of the podium again and even more so when it’s a 1-2-3 for the team", Evans said. 

"It’s an amazing result and we could not have asked for a much better event at home for Toyota, so I’m really pleased. 

"It’s been a long and difficult weekend. 

"On Friday we had exceptionally tough conditions which we came out of with quite a margin. 

"Since then it’s been a challenge in a different way, trying to manage the gap rather than push flat-out, but I’m very happy to get there in the end. 

"Massive congratulations to the team: it’s been an incredible season, the car has been great and I’m really proud and happy for everyone".

Moreover, Sebastien Ogier stated: "It feels great to be a part of this result. 

"I really wanted to come here and help the team secure a dream result. 

"I think the main target was to just take the victory, so to bring a full podium is fantastic and it’s maybe even more than a dream result. 

"The conditions brought some big surprises during the whole weekend. 

"We expected the difficult start on Friday and a lot of drivers made mistakes or lost time, including us. 

"Then we realised we were in a strong position to deliver the 1-2-3 for the team and my focus was on bringing that result home, but it’s never easy in slippery and tricky conditions like this. 

"I hope the whole team enjoys this moment: they really deserve it so thank you to them!".

Finally, Kalle Rovanpera said: "It’s an amazing feeling right now. 

"This is a dream result for the team, to have three cars on the podium in Japan. 

"It’s quite amazing that we could do this in such difficult conditions this weekend. 

"I think the team proved once again that we can be consistent and fast. 

"I’m also really proud of Taka as he was driving so well and I was very happy to see his times. 

"The atmosphere this week was so good with so many fans: it was nice to see that people are enjoying the rally and cheering for us. 

"It’s been a really cool way to end the season, especially to be on the podium with a team result like this".

Photo Credits: Toyota

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