Katsuta stops on second Saturday Finland stage

Toyota driver is first of the World Rally Car field to hit trouble, parking Yaris after hitting a bank

Takamoto KATSUTA

Takamoto Katsuta became the first driver among the World Rally Car field to hit trouble on Rally Finland when he stopped on the second stage of the Saturday morning loop.

Katsuta has had a barren run of World Rally Championship form since his maiden podium on Safari Rally Kenya, retiring from Estonia and Ypres and not even starting the Acropolis.

But Rally Finland – for which he partnered with Oliver Solberg’s old co-driver Aaron Johnston – had looked to be a promising event.

The Toyota junior won the opening Harju stage of the rally but plummeted down the order on the very next test, surviving a high-speed spin as he ran too close to the inside over a crest, ran wide into a ditch and spun dramatically down the hill.


Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Katsuta’s event then took another turn on SS8 Päijälä. Setting comparable splits with Sébastien Ogier, Katsuta faltered under a mile from the end of the stage as he looked to take too much speed over a medium-speed crest.

Coming down the other side, his Yaris WRC ran too deep into a quick left-hander, clouted the bank on the right and spun around off the road.

The car was stranded at the side of the road, and it soon became apparent that he was not able to go anywhere.

He relinquished his hold on eighth place and is likely to record his fourth non-score in a row in the championship.