Katsuta welcomes new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery

Takamoto Katsuta will be paired with a new co-driver for the World Rally Championship’s visit to Belgium this month as regular Daniel Barritt has been ruled out through injury.

Katsuta welcomes new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery

Barritt was advised by doctors to withdraw from last month’s Rally Estonia following four stages after sustaining neck and back pain, that necessitated a trip to hospital for precautionary checks.

While Toyota confirmed the Briton was ok following his hospital visit in Estonia, Barritt is a notable omission on the entry list for Rally Ypres maiden WRC event from 13-15 August.

In Barritt’s place is 26-year-old Keaton Williams, who has already worked with Katsuta in test outings in Portugal and Estonia earlier this year.

Williams has been co-driver for Ireland’s Hyundai Junior driver Josh McErlean, who has been competing in WRC3 and the European Rally Championship this year.

Katsuta has confirmed Barritt’s condition is improving daily but he won’t be ready for the championship’s visit to Ypres’ fast tarmac roads. 

“We made a decision that Ypres is too soon and it is not enough time for prepare the body and things and of course after Estonia he [Daniel] felt a little bit of pain and tiredness from the neck,” said Katsuta. 

“Now he is fine and it is getting better and better every day.

“I will go to Ypres with Keaton Williams, who has been testing with me three times this year so I know him pretty well. 

“Of course it is going to be a big challenge for both of us as this is his first time ever at this level.”

Takamoto Katsuta, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Takamoto Katsuta, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Rally Ypres will be the first time Katsuta will contest a rally in the WRC’s top flight without Barritt alongside him.

Read Also:

The duo have proved to be one of the surprise packages of the season becoming the only crew prior to Estonia to finish every rally inside the top six.

Williams’ surprise promotion is the latest co-driver change in the WRC this season, after Thierry Neuville parted ways with his long-time navigator Nicolas Gilsoul before the start of the campaign.

Last month Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo announced a second co-driving change of the year, with Candido Carrera taking over from Borja Rozada after only three events.

shares
comments

Related video

Loeb: No plans at the moment for 2022 WRC return

Previous article

Loeb: No plans at the moment for 2022 WRC return

Next article

UK among six events bidding to join 2022 WRC calendar

UK among six events bidding to join 2022 WRC calendar
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021