Ogier dispenses advice to winless team-mate Katsuta

Takamoto Katsuta has so far struggled to convert his speed into a win, but his champion team-mate has some advice for him


Takamoto Katsuta’s World Rally Championship campaign in 2024 has been a mixture of promise and frustration.

Fridays have been Katsuta’s domain. He led the way early doors in Portugal and put himself in a position to take the lead on Rally Sweden the following morning. But twice those strong positions have been thrown away by running wide and hitting things – whether they be banks made of snow or earth.

Last year’s season finale appeared to be a turning point. In Japan, Katsuta won more stages than anyone else. Sweden and Portugal reinforced that he has the potential pace to battle at the front. But it isn’t coalescing into a three-day run at the top step.

It’s one thing to be fast now and then. It’s another to be on the limit across a dozen and a half stages, make no major errors and reach that top step. So what can Taka do?

A good place to start is ask the eight-time world champion inside the Toyota camp, Sébastien Ogier, for how he broke his duck. After all, Ogier went through the pain of losing his maiden victory to a collision with a bank three corners from the end of Rally New Zealand in 2010 – he’s won everything but he also went through heartbreak to take that first WRC win.

Ogier is convinced that all things considered, victory remains on the horizon for Katsuta: “I think he’s not far from it,” the 60-time WRC event winner told DirtFish.

“He’s proving now more and more almost every weekend that he has the pace. Unfortunately, it’s still hard for him to make a full weekend without mistakes and that’s of course not good for a rally. But I like the way he’s approaching this challenge and working very hard.”


Katsuta was leading after the opening loop of Rally Portugal on Friday, but crashed out of the lead battle on Saturday

Katsuta had already indicated he would seek the world champion’s advice to understand what he can do better. But, for now, Ogier had only one straightforward piece of advice to offer – have self-belief.

“Taka, don’t give up, it’s coming soon,” he said.