Katsuta gets new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery

Takamoto Katsuta will be paired with a new co-driver for the World Rally Championship’s visit to Belgium this month as regular Daniel Barritt has been ruled out of the event through injury.

Katsuta gets new WRC co-driver as injured Barritt continues recovery
Listen to this article

Barritt was advised by doctors to withdraw from last month’s Rally Estonia following four stages after sustaining neck and back pain, that necessitated a trip to hospital for precautionary checks.

While Toyota confirmed the Briton was ok following his hospital visit in Estonia, Barritt is a notable omission on the entry list for Rally Ypres from August 13-15.

In Barritt’s place is 26-year-old Keaton Williams, who has already worked with Katsuta in test outings in Portugal and Estonia earlier this year.

Williams has been co-driver for Ireland’s Hyundai Junior driver Josh McErlean, who has been competing in WRC3 and the European Rally Championship this year.

Katsuta has confirmed Barritt’s condition is improving daily but he won’t be ready for the championship’s visit to Ypres’ fast tarmac roads. 

“We made a decision that Ypres is too soon and it is not enough time for prepare the body and things and of course after Estonia he [Daniel] felt a little bit of pain and tiredness from the neck,” said Katsuta. 

“Now he is fine and it is getting better and better every day.

“I will go to Ypres with Keaton Williams, who has been testing with me three times this year so I know him pretty well. 

“Of course it is going to be a big challenge for both of us as this is his first time ever at this level.”

Takamoto Katsuta, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Takamoto Katsuta, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

Rally Ypres will be the first time Katsuta will contest a rally in the WRC’s top flight without Barritt alongside him.

The duo have proved to be one of the surprise packages of the season becoming the only crew prior to Estonia to finish every rally inside the top six.

Williams’ surprise promotion is the latest co-driver change in the WRC this season, after Thierry Neuville parted ways with his long-time navigator Nicolas Gilsoul before the start of the campaign.

Last month Hyundai teammate Dani Sordo announced a second co-driving change of the year, with Candido Carrera taking over from Borja Rozada after only three events.

shares
comments

Related video

Loeb: No plans at the moment for 2022 WRC return
Previous article

Loeb: No plans at the moment for 2022 WRC return

Next article

UK among six events bidding to join 2022 WRC calendar

UK among six events bidding to join 2022 WRC calendar
How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver Prime

How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver

Having originally started out in karting and single-seaters to follow his dream of making it to Formula 1, Takamoto Katsuta's career instead changed course into the world of rallying. A breakthrough 2022 WRC season has lifted Katsuta into Toyota's factory line-up - but it's been a long road to the top level

WRC
Dec 7, 2022
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Prime

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak.

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Prime

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Prime

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Prime

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Prime

Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers is no less demanding. We got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Prime

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022