Mon 19 Sep 2022

Katsuta searches for 'competitive' consistency

Takamoto Katsuta left EKO Acropolis Rally Greece feeling disappointed despite maintaining his record as this season’s most consistent WRC driver.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing star was the highest-finishing GR Yaris driver at the championship’s 10th round earlier this month and brought home another sixth-place finish to consolidate fifth in the overall championship standings. 

Although Katsuta is the only driver to finish inside the top-eight at every round so far this year, the Japanese youngster came away from Lamia feeling disappointed with his performance. 

Set-up issues meant that traction was difficult to find, while confidence on the rugged gravel stages was also hard to come by. 

Speaking to following the event, Katsuta waved away any praise for his consistency and instead explained his need for more performance.

“We had no speed,” Katsuta said. “I didn’t have a good feeling on any of the stages and I was struggling to feel the grip and fighting with the car all the time. 

“Of course, it’s good that we are being consistent, but I am looking for more competitive consistency - that’s one of my targets right now. Okay, in some rallies I have been competitive, but in this one and in others I have not been in the fight. 

“This is where I need to improve and Greece, especially, was quite a difficult weekend for the whole team as well. The team knows how we can bounce back, but we will all be better for New Zealand.”

Katsuta believes next week’s Repco Rally New Zealand (29 September - 2 October) presents the perfect opportunity for a podium push. 

The Auckland-based fixture returns to the WRC calendar for the first time since 2012 and just four of the 11 leading Rally1 drivers have previously contested the event. 

“I’m really looking forward to New Zealand,” he smiled. “I think it will be a bit more of a level playing field and I heard that the stages are really high-speed and twisty and nice. I am really excited to go there.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM