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Fri 17 Feb 2023

Taka takes the positives from Rally Sweden rollercoaster

Despite retiring from his first ever official outing for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team, Takamoto Katsuta took plenty of positives from last week’s Rally Sweden.

The Japanese experienced the sport’s highs and lows on the roads around Umeå, winning the event’s fourth stage before rolling into Friday retirement on the very next test. Katsuta returned to the action before retiring completely on Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage.

Katsuta said: “The first thing is to say thank you to the team for the work they did to make the car perfect for me on Saturday. I was really happy to be able to get back to the road and take more experience of these stages.

“I was so disappointed with Friday. I didn’t feel like I was over-pushing or anything like that. I was a little bit too fast for the corner, but I couldn’t get the car turned on the ruts. It was difficult.

“That was very frustrating. The positive is that I was able to show the speed and to take the experience. Before what happened on Friday afternoon, I was feeling comfortable with the car and I was able to come back to that feeling on the weekend.”

Katsuta’s team-mate Elfyn Evans admitted he felt Katsuta had been harshly treated by Sweden.

“I’d say 98 per cent of the time you’re OK in the ruts,” said Evans, “but for that two per cent, when the car pops out, you’re just a passenger.”