Toyota Shuffles WRC Driver Line-up, Pajari to Debut in Finland

    In a move that has piqued the interest of car racing enthusiasts, Toyota has announced a change to its driver line-up for the upcoming rounds of the 2023 World Rally Championship (WRC). Rising star Sami Pajari, the reigning WRC2 champion, will now make his highly anticipated Rally1 debut at his home event, Rally Finland, instead of the previous plan of debuting at Rally Latvia.

    According to a statement from the team, the decision to have Pajari and co-driver Enni Malkonen contest Rally Finland from August 1-4 was made in consultation with the driver. This will provide Pajari with the opportunity to test the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 car on roads similar to those used in Rally Finland, an event he is already familiar with.

    “It is even more special to be making my Rally1 debut at home. The chance to prepare the car on roads that are very similar to the rally will be a good help for me.” – Sami Pajari

    The change in schedule also allows Toyota to field its “strongest available line-up” for Rally Latvia, which will make its WRC debut from July 18-21. World champions Kalle Rovanpera and Sebastien Ogier will now join regular WRC drivers Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta in the team’s four-car entry.

    Ogier, an eight-time world champion, expressed his eagerness to add Latvia to his schedule, stating, “It was not the original plan for me to be in Latvia, but the opportunity came up after analyzing the situation in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships. I want to give back to the team and thank them for allowing me the opportunity to continue driving with them.”

    Pajari acknowledged the challenges of adapting to the high-speed roads and the car’s aerodynamics, but his main focus will be on gaining valuable experience.

    As the 2023 WRC season heats up, this latest development in Toyota’s driver line-up promises to add an extra layer of excitement for car racing enthusiasts, particularly those closely following the WRC championship.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source