Wed 03 Aug 2022

Taka aiming for Finland podium

Toyota Gazoo Racing star Takamoto Katsuta is targeting a podium at this week’s Secto Rally Finland (4 - 7 August) – an event he considers his home round of the championship.

The Japanese driver lives within close range of the Jyväskylä service park and has high hopes for the WRC’s eighth round. 

Finland hasn’t always been kind to Katsuta. He missed out on a result in 2021 after going off the road on day two, and also failed to finish his three previous starts in Rally2 machinery. Despite that, he’s keen to make amends on an event he loves. 

“I need to think about a realistic target,” he mused. “A podium is a realistic target. I will try to push as much as I can, but this is what I’m thinking.

“If I expect too much I will over-push and maybe make mistakes. I want to look to find the limit, then do what I can – but even if it’s a top-five then this is still a very good result for me.

“Last year I couldn’t drive all of the stages after my accident in Päijälä. The first thing is to set a good time, but still you have to make a good time on every single stage otherwise you can not be in the fight.”

Katsuta is most comfortable on high-speed gravel stages - much like the ones he’ll face this week. 

The 29-year-old learned his craft in regional Finnish rallies after being taken under the wing of four-time world champion Tommi Mäkinen at the beginning of his career. 

“Of course, I know we have Rally Japan this year - and that is really my home rally,” he said. “But all of the time I have been in the sport, I have lived in Finland. 

“This is like my home now, maybe even more the Japan. My family is here and I know the roads and the style of the stages quite well.”

“I know quite a lot about this place. I competed a lot around Europe when I was coming with Toyota, but I did a lot in Finland.”

  • Full coverage from Secto Rally Finland will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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