Katsuta thrills Japanese fans in the original Yaris WRC

Wednesday | November 10, 2021

Takamoto Katsuta took the wheel of the first Toyota Yaris World Rally Car in his native Japan on Sunday for a series of demonstration drives ahead of the FORUM8 Central Rally this weekend.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s development driver in chassis number 1 at the TGR Rally Challenge attracted large crowds. The rally sprint should be a prelude to the Toyota City Rally Week and the final of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship at the FORUM8 Rally Japan.

The WRC game scheduled for this weekend has unfortunately been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions in Japan, but the national central rally will continue to take place.

The six-stage challenge event included roads that would have formed the Shakedown of the Rally Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda finished fourth in a GR Yaris driven by Katsuta’s father Norihiko.

The Central Rally covers a large part of the planned Rally Japan route in the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu over two days. The 12 stages cover almost 85 km, with the service park in the Toyota City Stadium.

Norihiko Katsuta leads the 61-car race in a GR Yaris, including Hiroki Arai and former Formula 1 racing driver Heikki Kovalainen.

The organizers will use the event to train marshals and check systems before the FORUM8 Rally Japan takes place in the next season, which will be the 13th and final round of the WRC from November 10-13, 2022.

WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel supported the Central Rally.

“The entire WRC community is disappointed that they cannot come to the FORUM8 Rally Japan in Aichi and Gifu this year.

“We know that the organizing team of the Rally Japan worked tirelessly for two years to prepare the best possible route and we wish all participants of the Central Rally every success.

“In the meantime, we are all looking forward to being there in November 2022 and hope that the Rally Japan will be held in Toyota City for many years after that.”

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