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.

shares
comments

Related video

Gravel Notes Podcast: Petter Solberg’s Acropolis Rally review
Previous article

Gravel Notes Podcast: Petter Solberg’s Acropolis Rally review

Next article

Breen expects "concrete" 2022 WRC future update in coming weeks

Breen expects "concrete" 2022 WRC future update in coming weeks
Load comments
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Plus

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. Autosport picks out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born Plus

The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born

M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape

WRC
Jan 19, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Plus

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Plus

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Plus

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against team-mate Elfyn Evans

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021