World Rally winning co-driver Dan Barritt says he wants to return to the World Rally Championship once he returns to fitness next season.
Barritt to quell speculation that he would be retiring following Takamoto Katsuta’s decision to keep Aaron Johnston as his co-driver into next year.
Barritt injured his neck and back in a heavy landing at this year’s Rally Estonia. He hasn’t competed since but has worked continuously with Katsuta to help the Japanese with the transition to a new co-driver within the Toyota team.
Barritt told DirtFish: “I’m definitely not done with co-driving at that level. It’s so, so frustrating that I want to get back in the car, but I’m just not quite there.
“I’d say my fitness is 95 or 96%, but I’ve got to follow the medical advice here and that advice is not to get back in the car just yet. As well as that medical stuff, I don’t want to be in the car until I know I’m absolutely 100%.
“If I were to do that, it would be something nagging in the back of my mind a little bit. When I’m completely fit, I know I can be right at the top of my game.
“The rest I’ve had has really done me good and I want Daniel version 2.0 to be better than ever when he’s back. I’ll be honest, I’m really missing it. I’m really missing every aspect of the thing.
“But this time away from the co-driver’s seat has recharged the batteries and really made me understand how much I love this sport and love my job. I fully understand Taka-san’s decision and I’m very grateful for his and the team’s support.
“It goes without saying, he and Aaron can count on my support moving forward.”
Katsuta admitted his decision to take Johnston was difficult, following the last three years with Barritt.
“I wanted to take both of them,” he told DirtFish, “but you can only have one co-driver.”