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    Toyota open to renting out fourth automotive at 2023 WRC occasions

    The Japanese model confirmed its 2023 driver line-up on Friday, which is able to see Takamoto Katsuta promoted to the manufacturing unit workforce’s third entry for a collection of rallies subsequent 12 months.

    Katsuta’s promotion to the primary manufacturing unit workforce arrives after ending 12 of the 13 rallies this 12 months inside the highest eight on his solution to a career-best fifth within the championship standings.

    The 29-year-old will share the third producer points-scoring seat with eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, who has agreed to a different partial marketing campaign with the Toyota after driving six rallies for the workforce this 12 months.

    Katsuta will contest the complete season however will swap to a fourth GR Yaris for occasions that Ogier is entered, guaranteeing {that a} fourth automotive could be out there for lease for as much as seven occasions subsequent 12 months.

    Latvala says the workforce is eager to develop its buyer racing programme and prepared to lease out the automotive to drivers. It has already obtained some preliminary requests.

    “It’s now clear that our line-up is what we’ll go along with for the season,” stated Latvala throughout a media name following the motive force line-up announcement.

    “However, in fact we now have been contemplating that – on [seven] occasions the place we now have a fourth automotive out there – we’d take into account a renting possibility.

    “However that is purely on renting, nothing else. If there may be any person fascinated with renting a automotive, we’re taking a look at that possibility.

    “At this level we don’t presently know if it’ll occur, however we’re in fact gathering knowledge to see if there are drivers who’re fascinated with that.

    Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Sébastien Ogier, Vincent Landais, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Picture by: Purple Bull Content material Pool

    “Now we have step-by-step constructed up a buyer programme as a result of that is one thing we wish to do sooner or later, we wish to run some automobiles and perhaps take into consideration the enterprise facet of it.

    “It’s a good alternative to get the expertise of it and prior to now it has been one occasion, however now there could be extra occasions coming if there’s a driver hiring the automobile. It could be attention-grabbing for us.

    “That fourth automotive that may be a rental possibility is 100% for enterprise – we aren’t concentrating on to attain factors. Now we have obtained some requests however we now have not made any resolution at this level.”

    Latvala additionally reiterated that the workforce had curiosity from drivers seeking to declare the third driver seat emptiness, following Esapekka Lappi’s resolution to affix Hyundai.

    Nonetheless, Katsuta’s constant shows this 12 months proved to the workforce that the Japanese driver had proved he deserved the drive alongside Ogier.

    “Sure in fact when Ott [Tanak] left Hyundai after which there was the hypothesis about Esapekka going to Hyundai it was at the moment I obtained telephone calls and emails in regards to the place,” Latvala added.

    “The drivers that wanted a seat had been in fact contacting us as we had one thing out there.

    “We determined to go this fashion and never signal an additional driver as a result of we expect Taka is able to take that step. We had been very assured and proud of this.”

    It’s anticipated that Ogier will begin his partial season at January’s Monte Carlo season opener, whereas Katsuta is more likely to step into the third automotive for the primary time at Rally Sweden in February.

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