Formula 1
14 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
28 Nov
-
01 Dec
Event finished
MotoGP
01 Nov
-
03 Nov
Event finished
15 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
NASCAR Cup
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
15 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
WEC
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
12 Dec
-
14 Dec
FP1 in
1 day
Supercars
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
22 Nov
-
24 Nov
Event finished
Formula E
23 Nov
-
23 Nov
Event finished
17 Jan
-
18 Jan
Next event in
36 days

Ogier in frame to join Evans in revamped Toyota line-up

shares
comments
Ogier in frame to join Evans in revamped Toyota line-up
By:
Nov 14, 2019, 12:37 PM

Elfyn Evans will be announced as a Toyota World Rally Championship driver as early as the end of next week, and could be joined by Sebastien Ogier in the marque's 2020 line-up.

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has dismissed speculation he has signed both drivers, but has told Motorsport.com his driver line-up could be confirmed by the end of next week.

Toyota Gazoo Racing has been forced to review its driver line-up following Ott Tanak’s surprise departure for Hyundai.

Evans visited TGR’s Puuppola base at the end of last month and is understood to have agreed terms to drive a Yaris WRC next season.

Ogier is reckoned to have been in discussions with Toyota and would be clear to join the programme if his current employer Citroen withdraws from the series – a scenario understood to be under discussion within the French firm.

Ogier’s other option would, of course, be a return to M-Sport – the team with which he won his last two drivers’ titles.

Makinen told Motorsport.com: “Not yet. We don’t anything to say. Honestly, I tell you we haven’t done anything yet. Also now we have this drama in Australia [the cancellation of Rally Australia due to bushfires in New South Wales] which has a little bit disturbed discussions. Anything, I can’t say anything for the moment.

“As soon as we have something 100 per cent then we will communicate this to you. I hope this could be for the end of the coming week.”

Elfyn Evans, M-Sport Ford WRT

Elfyn Evans, M-Sport Ford WRT

Photo by: M-Sport

Asked for his thoughts on Evans, Makinen added: “Sure we have been following him and his improvements and sure, we are very, very interested.”

Evans’ case for a Toyota seat was understood to have been strengthened when Ogier selected the Welshman as his preferred teammate when reportedly asked the question during discussions with TGR.

 

Asked how interested he would be if Ogier was free from Citroen, Makinen replied: “Let’s see. We don’t know what is happening. It’s very worrying if this talk is true for Citroen, but nothing is sure. We need the manufacturers for the good of the championship and the sport.”

Nineteen-year-old Finn Kalle Rovanpera will drive a third Yaris WRC next season with Takamoto Katsuta running a fourth car in non-factory livery on selected rounds.

Where an Ogier-Evans-Rovanpera Toyota squad would leave current drivers Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala remains to be seen.

If Citroen does depart, the only option for the pair would be to join fellow WRC stars Hayden Paddon, Craig Breen, Esapekka Lappi, Andreas Mikkelsen and Mads Ostberg in the hunt for a seat with M-Sport.  

Next article
Citroen could exit WRC amid PSA shake-up

Previous article

Citroen could exit WRC amid PSA shake-up

Next article

Citroen won't stay in WRC beyond 2021, PSA confirms

Citroen won't stay in WRC beyond 2021, PSA confirms
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Elfyn Evans
Teams Toyota Racing
Author David Evans