Tue 23 May 2023

Reset and reprepare: Katsuta looks to move forward

Takamoto Katsuta will look to adopt a fresh mindset for his FIA World Rally Championship campaign, aiming to address the lack of consistency he has experienced thus far in 2023.

The Japanese driver sits a lowly eighth overall in the drivers’ championship standings having encountered various setbacks in four of the six rallies held so far this season.

Last time out at Vodafone Rally de Portugal, while scoring manufacturers' championship points for Toyota Gazoo Racing, Katsuta was forced to retire after just two stages with alternator failure. Reflecting on the Matosinhos-based event, he acknowledged the need for a reset.

“It has not been such a good beginning to the year, so I’m frustrated of course, but also it has been hard,” he conceded. “It’s also my fault of course, so I cannot blame anybody - it’s myself.

“I was really expecting a lot from [Portugal] and I was preparing a lot, so it’s disappointing of course. But sometimes this stuff happens, and I had to change my mindset to get more experience and to learn for the future.

“I need to get up strongly and, okay, there are some not so easy rallies coming, but I need to focus to get good results and prepare well.”

Looking ahead to Rally Italia Sardegna (1 - 4 June), the 30-year-old can find solace in his performance throughout Portugal's final day, where he clinched a brace of top-three times as well as winning the Paredes test.

“Saturday and Sunday were really difficult for cleaning the road,” he added. “Even on the second pass there were really narrow ruts and I had to open them a bit more for the bigger cars, but our set-up was okay and the car felt good.”

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