Toyota’s top boss gives forgiveness: “My co-driver often forgets things”

The Rally de Portugal brought both good and bad for Toyota.
Elfyn Evans
Elfyn Evans. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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The highlight, of course, was that Sebastien Ogier once again demonstrated his dominance and won the event, but overall, the weekend was definitely not a success.

Kalle Rovanperä crashed out from the lead on Saturday, Takamoto Katsuta suffered from technical issues, and the problems Elfyn Evans encountered on Friday knocked the Welshman out of the victory contest.

“This weekend, there was both a disappointing thing and a good thing,” commented Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s Chairman.

“The disappointing thing was that the other three cars were not able to drive through without problems. Last year as well, we won the event, but the other two cars experienced troubles,” Toyoda recalled.

The Toyota team came to Portugal with high expectations. Nearly all experts agreed that Rovanperä, starting from a good position, would outperform the others, and that Ogier and Evans would also secure a significant points haul.

“So this year, our goal was for all four cars to have a trouble-free rally, but it became a frustrating result for us again,” Toyoda lamented.

The strangest situation of the season occurred on Friday when Evans’ co-driver, Scott Martin, forgot the pace notes book and ended up reading the notes from his phone. However, Toyoda granted forgiveness to the pair.

“Let’s be careful not to forget things! But the backup you did was great,” Toyoda messaged Martin.

Toyoda was also understanding towards Evans.

“I can relate to you as my co-driver often forgets things! Maybe we drivers should try to support co-drivers as well,” Toyoda joked.

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