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Tue 18 Oct 2022

Taka's Tarmac confidence on the up

Takamoto Katsuta will look to end a tricky run of form at this week’s RallyRACC - Rally de España - with the Japanese driver admitting his confidence is rising aboard an asphalt-specification Toyota GR Yaris.

The 29-year-old has competed in Spain’s round of the World Rally Championship four times and been forced to re-start under Rally 2 regulations on three of those occasions. Last year he crashed into a roadside barrier on the opening stage which resulted in heavy suspension damage.

Katsuta’s looking forward to reversing that trend in Salou this week and a brace of top-six Tarmac results this season has inspired him for the hills of Tarragona.

“I am understanding more about how to drive this Rally1 car on Tarmac now,” he said. “Before Ypres I was not fully comfortable, but I learned a lot in this rally and hopefully in Spain I can push a little bit harder again.

“I know it will be tough [this week]. The pace will be higher because everybody is knowing the stages a little bit more, but I will see what I can do. I’m looking forward to the asphalt rallies now – and, of course, then it’s Japan.”

Last time he competed at home in 2019, he and Dan Barritt won the Central Rally Aichi by almost four minutes.

While Japan’s first WRC round since 2010 runs in the same region, the competition will be a different story at next month’s season finale.

“Like you can imagine, I am very interested to go to Japan,” he said. “I think the roads will be very different to Spain and anywhere else, but I will push as much as I can for this rally.”

  • Full coverage from RallyRACC - Rally de España 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.