Toyota hands Katsuta eight WRC starts for 2020

Toyota protege Takamoto Katsuta will make eight appearances at the wheel of a Yaris WRC next season, it has been announced.

Toyota hands Katsuta eight WRC starts for 2020

Single-seater convert Katsuta started two top-level events for Toyota this year in Germany and Spain, finishing 10th in the former, and also took a WRC2 victory in Chile at the wheel of a Tommi Makinen Racing-run Ford Fiesta R5.

Next season, the 26-year-old will start all seven European rallies in addition to his home event in Japan, with the experienced Dan Barritt continuing as his co-driver.

Toyota WRC boss Tommi Makinen said: “Takamoto has already gained some experience driving the Yaris WRC this year, and just this week he did the final day of our test to prepare for Rallye Monte Carlo, so he’s becoming more knowledgeable about the car and gaining a better understanding of how a World Rally Car behaves, compared to what he’s driven before.

"In Spain we had already seen him set some good stage times, especially on his second time through the stages. Now he just needs more experience, which will help him to improve his consistency. I’m very confident that he will show good things throughout his programme of events in 2020.”

Katsuta himself added: “I must say thank you very much to Toyota Gazoo Racing and Tommi Makinen Racing for giving me this amazing opportunity.

"2020 will be a new challenge for me. I have good experience of each event from this year, but to be able to compete at the top level in a World Rally Car is a big step up.

"Although my first events in the Yaris WRC this year were very positive, I know that I still need to improve my driving and my pace-notes to reach a higher level. I’m really motivated to do that and I’m looking forward to seeing how much progress I can make next year.

"I hope that I can show a good step between the beginning and the end of the season, and I’m really excited for it to start.”

Toyota is field to set at least four Yaris WRCs for the eight rounds which Katsuta contests, although Jari-Matti Latvala is also understood to be in line for a part-season schedule after losing his seat for the 2020 campaign.

Sebastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera were unveiled as the Japanese marque's full-time factory drivers last month.

Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Yaris WRC

Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: Toyota Racing

shares
comments
Skoda axes works WRC2 team after "losing great drivers"

Previous article

Skoda axes works WRC2 team after "losing great drivers"

Next article

Pirelli elected WRC tyre supplier from 2021

Pirelli elected WRC tyre supplier from 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Jamie Klein
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021