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

This is the third co-pilot Katsuta has worked with this season after a string of unexpected events.

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

Keaton Williams was then drafted to sit for bar ride and first competed with Katsuta in the Ypres rally in August but was forced to retire from the Acropolis rally due to a family emergency. His departure left Katsuta without a passenger and unable to attend the Greek event.

Williams is unable to make the outing in Finland next week due to his persistent personal situation and with Barritt still unwilling to return, Katsuta has called Johnston to fill the void.

The drive for Johnston comes just days after it was confirmed that he will part ways with Solberg after a three-year partnership. Johnston made a world-class WRC appearance this season when he came to Solberg to compete in the Safari Rally in June.

“I will take part in the Finland Rally with Aaron Johnston. I am so excited that we will do our best and I have to thank Dan for your great support, which is always behind us, ”said Katsuta.

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

“Life can be tough, but I totally agree with your decision. I hope you’ll be in a rally car again in the future when everything is clear. You are a great co-driver. Stay strong.”

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

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport pictures

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

“Unfortunately, the situation is still going on, so my rally career is paused for the time being.

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

Katsuta and new co-driver Johnston teamed up for Toyota’s pre-Finland test this week to collect valuable miles.

Katsuta will be one of five Toyota Yaris WRC entrants in Finland, as Esapekka Lappi drives in a one-off ride with regulars Sebastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera.

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