Katsuta promoted to second by Safari stewards

The Toyota Next Generation driver was held up by Craig Breen on SS7


Takamoto Katsuta has been promoted from fourth to second place on Safari Rally Kenya via a stewards’ decision, shaving 14 seconds off his total rally time.

Kedong, the final stage of World Rally Championship action on the Friday of Safari Rally, caused problems for several drivers, including Craig Breen.

As the next car on the road after Breen, Katsuta had been potentially impacted by Breen’s issues in two ways: both following in the dust of the Ford Puma after the M-Sport driver had stopped to change a puncture, then slowing down again to circumnavigate the stricken Puma in the middle of the stage when it suffered a steering failure.


Between the 6.38-mile and 10-mile splits Katsuta had dropped 10 seconds, roughly the section where he’d been following the delayed Breen, then another 13s relative to stage winner and Toyota stablemate Kalle Rovanperä between the 10-mile and 12.2-mile markers.

After reviewing available evidence, rally stewards elected to take into account the delay caused by Breen’s stranded Puma but discounted the dust effect, handing him an 18m02.1s stage time.

“Having examined the report from the Clerk of the Course, the information provided by the competitor, tracking data available, on-board video and the time set by Car No. 18 on SS7 (Kedong 2), the Stewards find that Car No. 18 slowed down significantly when approaching the incident site of Car No. 42 and therefore conclude that the request for a correction of the time is justified,” read the stewards’ report.

“The allocation of corrected or notional times is provided for in the WRC Sporting Regulations for certain cases which do, however, not specifically include a crew being delayed due to the above-mentioned circumstances.


“With a view to sporting fairness in competitions and with reference to Art. 1.1.5 of the 2022 WRC Sporting Regulations, the Stewards exercise their authority under Art. 11.9.2.a and Art. 11.9.3.j of the 2022 FIA International Sporting Code.

“Considering that, the time loss was justified and cannot merely be considered as a ‘racing incident’, the Stewards decide to correct the time of competitor No. 18 on SS7 as specified above.”

That change promotes Katsuta from fourth to second overall, 14.6s off the lead and 7.8s up on team-mate Elfyn Evans, restoring a Toyota 1-2-3 in the process.

Also losing a place as a consequence of the shuffle is Hyundai’s Ott Tänak, who is down to fourth but only 2.9s behind Evans and the final podium position.