Takamoto Katsuta eyes podium finish at Rally de Portugal in quest for redemption

Takamoto Katsuta eyes podium finish at Rally de Portugal in quest for redemption

Festus Chuma 16:14 - 25.04.2024

Takamoto Katsuta is aiming for a podium finish at the Vodafone Rally de Portugal after previous near misses.

Takamoto Katsuta is fiercely focused on claiming a podium position at the upcoming Vodafone Rally de Portugal, slated for May 9-12. 

The Japanese rally driver is seeking redemption after a close miss two years ago and a mechanical failure thwarted his efforts last year.

In a previous attempt, Katsuta came tantalizingly close to third place at Matosinhos, holding a slight lead over Hyundai's Dani Sordo before the final stage. 

"Two years ago I didn’t get the podium, I was fourth and I just lost out to Dani so I need the revenge!" Katsuta expressed his determination in a recent interview with WRC.com.

Last year, his challenge ended prematurely due to an alternator issue in his GR Yaris Rally1 car after only two stages, leaving him out of contention early in the rally. 

Reflecting on his recent performance at the Croatia Rally, where he finished fifth and earned additional points for being the fastest driver on Super Sunday, Katsuta acknowledged the need for a strategic shift. 

"I just need to be more committed from the very beginning of the rally," he said.

Although Katsuta will not be eligible for manufacturers’ championship points in Portugal, he will join a strong Toyota team that includes Kalle Rovanperä, Sébastien Ogier, and Elfyn Evans.

His focus remains undeterred, and his goal is to finally stand on the podium in Portugal capturing the elusive top-three finish that has narrowly escaped him in the past.

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