Lorenzo Bertelli is preparing to take part in the first event of his career in the WRC at the wheel of a Toyota. In fact, he will race this weekend at the Swedish Rally with a GR Yaris Rally1, as a private driver, after having rented the car available for 7 events out of the 13 planned for this 2023 WRC.
The driver native of Arezzo will thus have the opportunity to race on the car which in these first 12 months of Rally1 history has proved to be the best performing, but also the most reliable, having won not only the drivers’ title with Kalle Rovanpera, but also the Constructors one with a clear margin on the competing teams.
However, the GR Yaris number 37, that of the Italian and Simone Scattolin, will not be able to count on the latest improvements from an aerodynamic point of view. In January, Toyota approved new intakes, i.e. the modified air intakes that guarantee the delivery of fresh air to the package that constitutes the electric part of the hybrid propulsion.
This package, placed just in front of the rear axle, needs certain temperatures to work and refrigeration is a key element to have the extra thrust guaranteed not only at the start of the tests, but also in certain sections of the specials themselves and in transfers .
Bertelli’s Yaris still has the two large protuberances used by Toyota until the Rally of Japan (cover photo: Bertelli’s Yaris with the 2022 aerodynamic configuration, ed), last event of the 2022 WRC and replaced because they generated drag – resistance when moving forward – and disturbed the aerodynamics.
Not only that, because Bertelli will have the basic rear wing at his disposal, the one with which the GR Yaris were presented last season. The large appendix had been modified during 2022, but Bertelli won’t even have this change compared to the 3 official GR Yaris entrusted to world champion Kalle Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta.
At this point it is easy to imagine that not even the engine is equipped with the latest recently approved specifications. However, the fact remains that the car, even thus prepared, is very competitive. It will be up to Lorenzo to try to get a handle on a vehicle so different from the Fords that he drove up to last year and to try to exploit its undoubted characteristics on the snow of Sweden.
Lorenzo Bertelli, Simone Scatttolin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
Photo by: Toyota Racing