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Toyota to field Ogier and Rovanpera in WRC Portugal line-up

Toyota will field four factory World Rally Championship entries in Portugal with part-time drivers Kalle Rovanpera and Sebastien Ogier set to compete.

Sébastien Ogier, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: Toyota Racing

The reigning world champion squad has announced that it will field both of its part-time crews in the same event for the first time this season, on Portugal’s gravel roads from 9-12 May.

Two-time world champion Rovanpera and eight-time WRC title winner Ogier will pilot GR Yaris Rally1 cars alongside full-timers Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta.

PLUS: How Rovanpera showed his class above his rivals in Kenya

Toyota has so far opted to split the season between its part-time drivers, with Ogier kicking off the year in Monte Carlo where the Frenchman finished second behind Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville.

Ogier is set to return to the wheel in Croatia this week, an event he previously won in 2021.

“I’ve enjoyed my time off since Monte-Carlo and now I’m happy to get back into competition,” said Ogier.

“My test last week was a good chance to get my feeling back in the car, with quite a demanding road: pretty fast with jumps and narrow sections. These are features of the rally as well, but we also know that the weather can be uncertain at this time of year.

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Photo by: Toyota Racing

“We don’t have the ideal starting position for an asphalt rally, so we’ll have to assess the conditions and see what we can do.

“My main motivation is always to reach the podium and fight for victory, but I’m also here to help the team, and with the new points system we can see that Sundays are also now more important than ever.”

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Ogier returns to the Toyota team after sitting out rounds in Sweden and Kenya where Rovanpera took the wheel of the third factory GR Yaris. Rovanpera crashed out of Sweden but bounced back to claim his 12th career WRC victory at the Safari Rally as Toyota scored a 1-2 with Katsuta in second.

Portugal will mark Rovanpera’s third round of the year with his WRC schedule beyond that yet to be determined. It is thought likely that he will contest the WRC’s inaugural visit to Latvia in July and his home round in Finland in August.

Watch: Croatia Rally Trailer

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