Rally Sweden – The deep disappointment of Takamoto Katsuta

Even if the accepted saying goes that “it's part of the job”, it's never easy for a driver to come and explain in front of the microphones how he crashed his car into a wall of snow. Takamoto Katsuta provided clear proof of this in Sweden, providing a touching scene.

Published on 17/02/2024 à 15:53

Loïc ROCCI

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Rally Sweden – The deep disappointment of Takamoto Katsuta

Takamoto Katsuta made a mistake despite being Toyota's best chance for victory (Photo: Nikos Katikis/DPPI)

The contrast was cruel. Adrien fourmaux presented himself in front of the media just after setting the best time in the last special stage of the loop. His ear-to-ear smile was a pleasure to see and stood in stark contrast to the defeated face of Takamoto Katsuta who arrived a few minutes later. Leader for 3 stages during the first stage, the Japanese was overtaken by Esapekka Lappi at the end of the day, but he did not give up. Faster than the Finn in the opening SS, he came back to 0”9 behind the Hyundai. The match was thrilling as both crews seemed on the same level and no one could predict what would happen next.

The driver's exit from the road Toyota in SS10 ended the suspense. Staring blankly, Taka tried to give an explanation. “ We had a decent performance in the first section, he replied almost to himself. It was a good thing to reduce our delay on Esapekka. We wanted to continue to put pressure on him. Our level of attack was high in the next stage and in one corner I arrived a little too quickly. The rear of the car hit the wall and it sent us back into the opposite wall where we sank and couldn't get out.. » If the friendly Japanese who is appreciated by everyone within the WRC managed to provide this description in one go, he did not go very far when it came to revealing his state of mind. “ All right…, he began without being able to continue. (Very long silence)… It's hard to find the words... it's just that I really wanted to do it for the team... next time. »

If it is rare at this level to see competitors break down like this, the disappointment of the Toyota driver who finally kept silent is understandable. With Kalle Rovanperä's crash on Friday and Elfyn Evans' delay in having to open the road, Taka was the top card in the TGR. This outing compromised everything and it came at one of the events in which Katsuta had the best chance of scoring his first WRC victory.  

 

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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