The 2023 WRC season wrapped up with Rally Japan. This year, Toyota Times once again shared in the excitement with driver Takamoto Katsuta.
As Rally Japan (November 16-19, Aichi/Gifu) got underway, the country’s roads once again set the stage for a showdown between the world’s best drivers.
For this special edition of Toyota Times News, we invited Takamoto Katsuta, Asia’s only FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) driver, to discuss everything from making the most of Rally Japan to his behind-the-scenes racing stories.
Without a doubt, the event’s climax is the Super Special Stage (SSS) at Toyota Stadium. Unlike a regular special stage, the SSS features two rally cars battling it out on the stadium’s purpose-built course. This course consists of two different laps, which makes for thrilling duels right to the finish.
Last year, Chairman Akio Toyoda also cheered drivers on from the roadside. “Regardless of job titles or anything, his presence makes you want to give him your best,” says Katsuta. Video footage offers glimpses of the pair’s bond, which transcends the Toyota leader-driver relationship.
Our conversation then turns to co-drivers. As the one behind the wheel, Katsuta fully understands the importance of the person seated beside him. He also describes the cockpit exchanges with his driving partner, Aaron Johnston.
And how does Aaron feel about the partnership? The scene offers a snapshot of their relationship.
Later in the show, Katsuta takes us for a special drive to continue the chat. What has been weighing on Yuta Tomikawa since last year, and what new promise did he make?
Whether in person or via our livestream, we hope you were able to enjoy the excitement of this motorsport spectacle.