Saturday, April 20, 2024

Toyota’s new Rally2 machine takes first victory in Japan

Norihiko Katsuta who is the father of the current Toyota Gazoo Racing works rally driver Takamato Katsuta. Claimed the first victory for Toyota’s new Rally2 machine as he won the ARK Rally Kamuy in Hokkaido, Japan over the weekend.

The win for the 54-year-old Japanese rally legend was significant for the automotive manufacturer Toyota. This year, Norihiko is testing the new Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 car with a full-time program in the Japanese Rally Championship. The car is set to make its world debut somewhere around Spring 2024 following approval from the homologation made by the FIA.

Toyota has invested significantly in its new project since last year. The car has been developed at the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT team’s base in Finland and the team’s test driver Juho Hänninen has driven thousands of kilometers with the car in Finland and around Europe.

Katsuta’s task is to test the car under competitive conditions in Japan. In addition to his victory this weekend, he has taken two-second places behind the former Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen from Finland but as Kovalainen had issues earlier on this time, Katsuta could finish the rally ahead of the Finn to claim the first victory for the new car.

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