Toyota introduces engine upgrade for Estonia

The GR Yaris Rally1 leads both championships, but still Toyota has been seeking more performance


Toyota’s GR Yaris Rally1 will feature an engine upgrade from this weekend’s Rally Estonia.

Toyota currently leads both the drivers’ championship – with three of its drivers in the top four – and the manufacturers’ standings this season, and has won Rally Estonia for each of the past two seasons.

But in a bid to extract even more performance from its car, the Yaris’s power unit has been upgraded ahead of the two fastest rallies of the year.

The internal combustion engine in particular has been the focus of the work.

Toyota Portugal

“The last event in Kenya marked the mid-point of the 2023 season and after an incredible result there, our lead in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships shows that the team has done a really good job so far in the face of some close competition,” said team principal Jari-Matti Latvala.

“Of course, we want to continue this strong form in the next rallies in Estonia and Finland, where the focus is very much on performance.

“They require a different mindset from the drivers compared to the rougher events we have had recently: if you want to win, you will need to push from the first corner of the first stage.

“We were strong in Estonia one year ago but we have still been working hard to improve our performance for these rallies and it’s great that we can bring new updates to the car.

“Our drivers enjoy driving on fast roads and we’re really looking forward to the rally.”

Heading into the weekend, world champion Kalle Rovanperä leads team-mate Elfyn Evans by 41 points.

The pair were first and second in Estonia last year.

“Rally Estonia is definitely one of my favorite events on the calendar,” Rovanperä said.

“I have spent a lot of time in Estonia and the fast and flowing roads suit my driving style really well. I have good memories from the rally and it has always been an enjoyable one for me.

“Even in 2020 when I didn’t have much experience we could fight for the podium, and then 2021 was very special as it was our first win.

“Last year the weather was making a difference and I hope we can have some rain this year too, because we will be opening the road again on Friday.

“Like on any rally, the plan will be to aim for the win, and especially as this is one we have been so strong on before.”

Takamoto Katsuta will join Rovanperä and Evans in the main Toyota team with Sébastien Ogier not participating.