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Monday, June 24, 2024

Katsuta realising WRC potential after Rally Japan stage wins

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Katsuta has displayed blistering tempo throughout the tough asphalt levels at his dwelling occasion, profitable seven of the 16 checks thus far.

The Japanese driver’s tempo would have put him firmly within the victory battle had he not broken his GR Yaris’ radiator after colliding with bushes in stage two on Friday.

Katsuta was quickest on the splits in that stage earlier than he hit a patch of standing water that additionally despatched Hyundai’s Dani Sordo and M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux off the highway and into retirement.

Katsuta rapidly bounced again from the frustration to win three levels on Friday earlier than occurring to assert 4 of Saturday’s eight levels, climbing from ninth to sixth total.

“He has had actually good pace – I do know there’s potential and I believe now he’s actually getting all of that potential, which additionally provides me encouragement wanting in the direction of 2024,” Latvala advised Autosport.

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“If he can keep comparable work that he has performed within the second half of the season, I believe he might be ready to battle for podiums for nearly each rally. I believe that’s the subsequent step that must be taken.”

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

At occasions this season Katsuta has struggled for confidence driving the GR Yaris, with third in Finland his solely podium this yr.

Reflecting on his stage-winning streak, Katsuta admitted that that is the happiest he has been within the automotive this yr.

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“After all, the automotive is working nicely in any situations and on any levels and I’ve been having fun with it so much,” Katsuta advised Autosport.

“To be sincere, I’m pushing however there’s not a lot threat, after all there’s threat however not a loopy threat. I used to be very comfy and having fun with the driving.

“After yesterday, my thoughts has modified and I’ve been simply specializing in doing my greatest however, at the back of my head, there’s disappointment, however now I simply need to neglect it and produce dwelling a very good consequence for the staff.”

Katsuta’s efficiency has additionally impressed his two-time world champion team-mate Kalle Rovanpera.

“He has performed an incredible job and it’s so good to see him do good occasions,” Rovanpera advised Autosport.

“I believe he’s exhibiting what he’s able to this weekend. He has performed it in all climate, within the rain yesterday and within the dry, he’s doing very well.”

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