TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program - A learning experience for Katsuta in Sardinia

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program - A learning experience for Katsuta in Sardinia

12.10.2020: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta experienced a tough weekend in the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Italia Sardegna, which ended in retirement following a crash on the final day.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta experienced a tough weekend in the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Italia Sardegna, which ended in retirement following a crash on the final day.




Taking place on the Italian island of Sardinia, the rally is characterised by technical and narrow gravel stages that are lined by rocks and trees. Katsuta had some previous experience of the challenges posed by the event, having made three previous starts in the WRC2 category. Still, this would be his first start in a rally with such characteristics in the Toyota Yaris WRC.



After a solid start, Katsuta went off the road in a slow corner on Friday’s fourth stage. He was able to restart on Saturday, gaining new experience by running first on the road and sweeping a line through the loose gravel for the cars behind him, although he experienced an issue with the braking system during the afternoon. This was repaired for Sunday, but Katsuta’s rally came to an end when he rolled in the day’s second stage – both he and co-driver Dan Barritt were unhurt.




Quotes:


Takamoto Katsuta:



“On Friday in SS4 there was a narrow and tricky part, I was slightly off-line in a left-hand corner so I was on the loose gravel and couldn’t stop the car for the next tight-right corner, and we went wide into the ditch. On Saturday it was very difficult opening the road; it was my first experience of that on a rally like this. It was very slippery and I had no lines to follow, but it was a good learning experience for me for the future. On Sunday in a very narrow section in SS14 I went slightly wide and hit the bank on the outside.



On the next left-hander there was a rock or something on the inside that we hit, and after that the car rolled. This is a hard time for me but I hope that it will make me stronger. The car is so fast and the level of the other drivers is so high so I need to improve many things, such as my pace-notes and my concentration. I will try to do my best to improve.”




Jarkko Miettinen (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRC Challenge Program instructor):


“Rally Sardinia showed us how versatile the WRC is. Taka had good speed in Sweden and great driving in Estonia. Both of these events are high speed rallies on good roads. We expected Sardinia to be more difficult for Taka and expectations were lower when it came to pure speed here.



The aim was to learn more about the Yaris WRC on these slow and rough roads and partly this target was accomplished as Taka completed most of the stages. After two incidents, the only thing we can take home is that there is still a lot to learn on slow and narrow gravel roads and also in following the set target all the way to finish line of the last stage.”






Results:



1    Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)    2h41m37.5s
2    Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)    +5.1s
3    Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC)    +6.1s
4    Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC)    +1m02.3s
5    Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC)    +1m33.9s

Retired    Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC)   



What's next?


Following the addition of the Monza Rally to the WRC calendar as the final round of the 2020 season, which event Katsuta will participate in next remains under consideration.


 
Stephan Lesuisse photos Toyota
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/tgr-wrc-challenge-program-experience-takamoto-katsuta-sardinia---214217.html

12.10.2020 / MaP

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