FIA World Rally Championship

Toyota announces the 2023 WRC line-up as Katsuta moves up to the factory team

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Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

The Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team announced early on Friday morning their 2023 drivers line-up which remains almost unchanged as they aim to go with the same winning concept for the upcoming season.

There will be only one change to the line-up, the Finn Esapekka Lappi will not continue for the team next year. Lappi will move to Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT which is also expected to announce their drivers probably today.

Toyota will have four drivers next season with the current champion Kalle Rovanperä from Finland going for his other full season with the team and will be joined by Welshman Elfyn Evans. The third car which will be shared this year will see Sébastien Ogier from France and Takamoto Katsuta from Japan.

Katsuta has been promoted to the main factory team, however, when Ogier is driving in the third Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, the Japanese will still be entered in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Next Generation fielded Toyota.

Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s very nice to welcome Takamoto into our main line-up to share a car with Sébastien while also still gaining the experience of a full season. We believe the time is right for him to make this step: In 2022 he was the WRC’s most consistent scorer so we are confident he can bring good points for the team.” Jari-Matti Latvala, TGR team principal, said.

“As a team we have enjoyed an extremely good season in 2022. To win all three titles for the third year in a row will be a big challenge but that is certainly our target next season and we need to keep working together to achieve it.”

“I’m really excited to make this next step in my career. To have this kind of role with the team has been a big target for me and I want to thank Toyoa Gazoo Racing Racing for giving me such an amazing opportunity. Of course it will bring a bit more pressure than before, but I am very motivated to keep working hard to be ready for next season and to do the best job I can for the team.” Katsuta added.

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