Thu 17 Nov 2022

Taka wants more in 2023

Having achieved his goal of two podium finishes for this season, Takamoto Katsuta is ready to push on and achieve even more in next year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Katsuta’s third place at last week’s FORUM8 Rally Japan gave his Toyota Gazoo Racing team a reason to be cheerful after a complicated event in their own backyard which saw team-mates Elfyn Evans and Sébastien Ogier both ruled out of contention by tyre dramas. 

The Japanese driver looks set to be back aboard a factory GR Yaris in 2023 and insists he'll pushing even harder to better this season's performances - which also included a podium at Safari Rally Kenya.

“I am really pleased with how this year ended, but I still feel at some points I am lacking some confidence to push harder and to keep the speed in some of the tricky conditions,” he explained. “This is one thing I want to work on next year.

“I have to talk more with the team about the aims for next season, but, of course, I want to push harder and make more podiums.”

The 29-year-old faced challenging conditions during Japan’s final leg as heavy rain caused slippery sections under the trees. Ogier was hot on Katsuta’s heels but the former was able to stay ahead by a mere 12.3sec at the finish.  

“That was very special,” Katsuta said of his home podium. “My target was the podium. It wasn’t easy and sometimes it didn’t look so straightforward, but I made it and I’m happy. 

“I have to say a very, very big thanks to the team for the car and to the fans for the incredible motivation they gave me. The conditions were tough, but that just gave me more motivation to prove what I can do.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM