GAZOO Racing (GR) World Rally Team and driver Ott Tänak clinched their second victories of the season recently at the inaugural Rally Chile in Talcahuano during the sixth round of the 2019 FIA’s World Rally Championship (WRC). Tänak completed an outstanding performance in the No. 8 Toyota Yaris WRC to secure the fastest time on the rally-ending Power Stage during the demanding 4-day event, gaining extra points to climb up to second place in the drivers’ championship.
Tänak finished 1.3 seconds faster than anyone else in the Power Stage, as he and co-driver Martin Järveoja clinched overall victory by 23.1 seconds. The result saw GR World Rally Team maintain second position in the manufacturers’ championship and close the gap on the leading team to just 29 points.
Akio Toyoda, Team Chairman, commented: “I would like to congratulate Tänak and Järveoja on their exceptional second win of the season, which took place in Chile, and thank all our fans worldwide for their support. I am very pleased to see that the team ran through all the stages flat out and stood on the top of the podium with smiles. The points earned by this big effort by all the team members under Tommi Mäkinen’s leadership will be highly valuable later this season. Now, the WRC will move to gravel rounds in Europe. We will work hard together with one heart to help the six drivers and co-drivers and three Yaris WRC bring more good news to our fans.”
Ott Tänak, Driver of the No. 8 Toyota Yaris WRC, said: “It’s great to take this victory here on the first time in Chile. It was a very demanding event, and required a lot of focus to avoid mistakes. Today wasn’t easy. With our rivals pushing hard behind, we had to keep going and we collected maximum points from the Power Stage. To fight back like this following the last couple of events with a perfect weekend is very positive. It was really important, especially for the team, to keep the motivation high and keep pushing, and this kind of result definitely does that. Now we are looking forward – we are back in the fight.”
The WRC returns to Europe for Rally Portugal from 30 May to 2 June. Based in Matosinhos near Porto in the north of the country, the event features classic stages on sandy and rocky roads. Grip can be hard to find on the soft roads, while rocks may be exposed and deep ruts can form on the second pass, making for challenging driving conditions and an exciting contest.