Takamoto Katsuta will likely be paired with a brand new co-driver for Rally Ypres, the eighth spherical of the WRC subsequent week. His regular sidekick, Dan Barritt, is at present on the sidelines after neck and again ache induced him to stop Rally Estonia after 4 levels final month. The Englishman then went to the hospital for check-ups.
Though Toyota has mentioned he’s doing nicely after passing by means of medics, Barritt will not be on the Ypres Rally entry checklist, changed by Keaton Williams. Katsuta confirmed that the Englishman’s situation is bettering day-to-day, however that he is not going to be able to deal with the quick asphalt roads of the Belgian Channel.
“We determined that Ypres was coming too early and that there was not sufficient time to arrange the physique and the remaining,” Katsuta mentioned. “After Estonia, he felt a bit ache and fatigue in his neck. Now he is fantastic, it is getting higher day-to-day. I will go to Ypres with Keaton Williams, who has finished three exams with me this yr and who I due to this fact know fairly nicely. In fact, will probably be an enormous problem for each of us, as a result of will probably be a primary for him at this degree. “
It would even be the primary time that Katsuta will take part in a WRC rally with out Barritt by his aspect. Good shock this season, the pair was the one crew earlier than Estonia to have completed every rally within the high 6 they usually obtained in Kenya their first podium collectively.
The 26-year-old Keaton Williams has already been teamed up with Katsuta for testing this yr, and he was additionally the co-driver of Hyundai Junior driver Josh McErlean, who has been seen in WRC3 and ERC this yr.
His shock promotion is the final change of co-driver thus far, after the media alternative of Nicolas Gilsoul by Thierry Neuville simply earlier than the beginning of the championship, then the arrival of Chris Paterson to assist Gus Greensmith (Patterson who was himself quickly absent in Sardinia) and eventually the second change to the correct of Dani Sordo introduced final month.