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Wed 21 Jun 2023

Katsuta “surprised” by Safari shakedown roll

Takamoto Katsuta admits his roll during Wednesday morning’s shakedown for Safari Rally Kenya took him by surprise.

The Japanese driver completed two drama-free runs of the warm-up stage but came unstuck on his third and final pass when he barrel-rolled his GR Yaris after a heavy compression.

Reflecting on the incident, Katsuta was able to explain the cause but admitted that he had not been expecting such a dramatic outcome.

“After a small jump we were braking into a hairpin right,” he revealed. “There was a small bump on the inside of the corner and straight away the car started to roll. Basically, when we were braking, the dampers were fully absorbed, so there was no more play, let's say. There was no suspension travel to avoid this kind of bump and straight away the car started to roll.

“To be honest, I was quite surprised because on the first two [shakedown] runs nothing really happened, but on the third run straight away something happened.”

Although Katsuta’s car sustained heavy body damage, the repairs carried out by Toyota’s mechanics mean that he will be able to start the rally on Thursday.

“It's my mistake and I'm really for the team for making them more busy,” said the 30-year-old. “It was looking very bad, but the engineers told me that the damage underneath the surface is not so bad and the roll cage is okay. They will be able to fix it and we will continue tomorrow.”