Katsuta drafts in ex-Oliver Solberg WRC co-driver for Rally Finland

Toyota World Rally Championship driver Takamoto Katsuta will team up with Oliver Solberg’s former co-driver Aaron Johnston for next week’s Rally Finland.

Katsuta drafts in ex-Oliver Solberg WRC co-driver for Rally Finland

This will be the third co-driver Katsuta has worked alongside this season following a series of unexpected events.

Regular co-driver Daniel Barritt sustained a neck and back injury during July’s Rally Estonia and has been on the sidelines ever since.

Keaton Williams was then drafted in to sit in for Barritt, competing with Katsuta for the first time in August’s Ypres Rally, but was forced to withdraw from the Acropolis Rally due to a family emergency that required Williams to return home. His departure left Katsuta without co-driver and unable to compete in the Greek event.

Williams is unable to contest next week’s outing in Finland due to his ongoing personal situation and with Barritt still not ready to return, Katsuta has called up Johnston to fill the void.

The drive for Johnston comes just days after it was confirmed he would part ways with Solberg after a three-year partnership. Johnston has already made a top flight WRC appearance this season when he joined Solberg to drive in June’s Safari Rally.

“I will compete Rally Finland with Aaron Johnston. I’m so excited we will do our best and I must say, thanks to Dan for your huge support behind us always,” said Katsuta.

“Thank you very much Keaton Williams for the hard work with me.

“Life can be hard but I fully agree with your decision. I hope you will be back in a rally car when everything is clear in the future. You are a great co-driver. Stay strong.”

Takamoto Katsuta, Keaton Williams, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Takamoto Katsuta, Keaton Williams, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Williams added: “As many of you know, I had to withdraw from WRC Greece for personal reasons.

“Unfortunately, the situation is still ongoing, so for now, my rallying career puts be put on pause.

“Thank you to everyone for your kind messages, I hope to see you on the stages soon.”

Katsuta and new co-driver Johnston have teamed up this week for Toyota’s pre-Finland test to gather some valuable mileage.

Katsuta will be one of five Toyota Yaris WRC entries in Finland as Esapekka Lappi joins regulars Sebastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera in a one-off drive.

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