Takamoto Katsuta and Aaron Johnston have both been reprimanded by the FIA stewards for stopping their Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 between the flying finish and the stop control on Rally México’s penultimate stage.
Katsuta endured a difficult weekend on his first ever Rally México, crashing out of seventh place on Friday morning after being caught out on a fast section.
From there the Toyota driver cut an anonymous figure as he guided his way safely through the rally to place 23rd overall.
But after the conclusion of the event, he and his co-driver Johnston were summoned to the stewards for bringing their car to a complete stop for “approximately 13 seconds” between the flying finish and the stop control of the San Diego stage.
This was declared to be a breach of Article 49.1 of the WRC’s sporting regulations which stipulates that “stopping between the yellow warning sign and the stop sign is forbidden and will be reported to the stewards.”
Katsuta explained that after the flying finish of SS22 he had pressed the hybrid button by mistake, which meant he had to “stop the car to momentarily reset the system”.
Katsuta, Johnston and Toyota took “full responsibility for the situation and offered apologies for any confusion caused”.
The stewards accepted the “good faith” of the crew and therefore decided that a reprimand was an appropriate punishment.
That means Katsuta’s rally result remains unaffected, although he flies home from Mexico empty-handed anyway having scored no championship points for the second rally in a row.