The Italian Lorenzo Bertelli has confirmed that he will be joining the second round of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship in Rally Sweden in a Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, the rich Italian and part of the famous Prada family become the first pure privateer driver in a Toyota together with co-driver Simone Scattolin.
In the past, Marcus Grönholm and Jari-Matti Latvala have driven cars privately from the team, but they had a strong relationship with the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT and the Italian will now be the first to actually buy a drive since Toyota returned to WRC in 2017.
In last year’s Rally New Zealand, the Italian drove a Ford Puma Rally1 under his own Fuckmatie World Rally Team and it is the only start in a Rally1 car since the new regulations. Earlier in his career, he has competed in the older spec and 2017 spec Ford Fiesta WRC and Ford Fiesta R5, and he was loyal to M-Sport Ford WRT since 2016 and had over 60 starts with a Ford but now it will be a new chapter to test a proven WRC winning car for the Italian.
Team principal Latvala confirmed in late autumn that it intends to lease a car for several events, the third car in the factory team will be shared by Takamoto Katsuta and the seven-time world champion Sebastien Ogier. In the races Ogier competes in, such as the Rallye Monte Carlo, Katsuta will drive a fourth car like previously but when Ogier is not entered to start, then a fourth car is possible to be rented out for customers.