The Japanese driver that has come by means of Toyota’s junior driver programme has emerged as one in all 2021’s shock packages, highlighted by a maiden WRC podium after ending second at June’s Safari Rally.
In truth, up till an uncharacteristic crash at Rally Ypres final month, Katsuta was the one driver to have completed each rally inside the highest six this season, such has been his improved pace and consistency.
Katsuta’s spectacular shows driving Toyota’s fourth automobile led to requires a doable promotion to the group’s third full producer entry for subsequent season given Sebastien Ogier’s determination to reduce to a partial marketing campaign subsequent 12 months.
Whereas Esapekka Lappi has emerged because the favorite to land that seat alongside Ogier, following his recall to the group for Rally Finland in a fifth automobile, Katsuta says he would favor a full 2022 season that may be supplied by a fourth entry.
“You by no means know in regards to the future nevertheless it appears to be like as if it’s going to proceed to be like this now,” Katsuta advised Autosport.
“I do not assume I would be the manufacturing facility driver as a result of it appears to be like like Seb Ogier will share the automobile with somebody.
“I instructed to the group that whether it is doable I wish to do the total season as a result of now a very powerful factor for me is expertise.
“I must do rallies as a lot as doable, that is the primary factor for me. Even when it’s the fourth automobile I wish to do a full season, if I might select, that manner could be greatest.
“I feel the group guys are pondering the identical manner and I might be very pleased with that. I hope it’s going to be like that.”
Takamoto Katsuta, Keaton Williams, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC
Picture by: Toyota Racing
Katsuta will return to WRC motion this week on the well-known Acropolis Rally, his first try on the Greek basic that returns to the championship for the primary time since 2013.
The 28-year-old is ready to proceed alongside stand-in co-driver Keaton Williams whereas common Daniel Barritt continues to get well from a again harm sustained in Estonia in July.
Williams can also be set to hitch Katsuta at October’s Rally Finland though the Toyota driver has confirmed Barritt will attend occasions in Greece and Finland to assist the pair.
“The plan is that I’ll go to Greece and Finland with Keaton. He’s a younger co-driver however he has huge motivation for rallying, so I am very completely satisfied to be working with him,” Katsuta added.
“Dan remains to be supporting me and he’ll come to occasions and in addition Greece to assist us.
“After all it’s going to be robust as it’s a new rally for us and for most of the folks, so it’s going to be tough, however I’m very excited for the rally. It’s a historic rally and I like gravel.
“It will be attention-grabbing as to what will occur. After the final rally it’s higher to remain on the highway however some sections it’s important to push as you can’t get any good outcomes. I want to search out the steadiness.”
Katsuta hopes to contest no less than one rally with Barritt re-installed as co-driver earlier than the season is over.
“He [Dan] is feeling OK for the second. We aren’t certain, we’re nonetheless discussing with the group what we will do for the remainder of the 12 months,” he stated.
“My hope is that I will do one or two rallies with him this 12 months, however [I’m] undecided but.”