Mon 12 Feb 2024

Taka aims to replicate 2023 Sweden speed

Takamoto Katsuta is hoping to replicate the speed he managed on last year’s Rally Sweden – but without the drama which accompanied his outing in the FIA World Rally Championship’s winter wonderland.

The Japanese star posted three top-three times and won a stage in 2023 in Umeå, but his hopes of a result were blown when he rolled on the second run through the Brattby test on Friday, later returning due to the damage.

“This is one of my favourite events,” said Katsuta, who scored his maiden WRC2 win on the event in 2018. “Last year, the speed was good, so I would like to bring this [speed] again – but also [Rally Sweden] is a big challenge.

“I was following the test event in Lapland that Elfyn [Evans] and Kalle [Rovanperä] were doing, it’s good to see the data they got and the team has made a good car for the event.

"For the result, I think it can be a little bit complicated – we have the proper Finns coming back with Kalle and Esapekka [Lappi]. They are both going to be running behind us on the road, so finishing at the top could be difficult. As long as I have the good confidence in the car then I will push as much as I can to take the result.”

Katsuta finished seventh overall at the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo last month. He set four top-three stage times aboard his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, but dropped more than five minutes after sliding into a ditch early in the rally.

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