WRC

Toyota wary of putting pressure on Takamoto Katsuta with works drive

Toyota team principal Tommi Mäkinen is wary of putting too much pressure on junior driver Takamoto Katsuta by elevating him to the works squad too early.

Instead, it would now seem that he could join a satellite team in a Yaris WRC for 2020.

The 26-year-old Japanese, who makes his first appearance in the WRC in a top-spec car in Germany, will kick off an extended programme in a Yaris World Rally Car in 2020.

"We have discussed Taka's future and where he is, his experience,” the Toyota team boss said. “We see he is doing really good in places, but it is up and down sometimes. He knows that. We have discussed how to continue, and for him to get a bit more experience.

"We could think about putting him in the Yaris as part of the full factory team but is that too much pressure? If it is kind of a satellite team with a completely different looking car it could reduce the pressure."

Katsuta has driven a Toyota Yaris WRC on events in Finland – outside of the WRC – this season, but Rallye Deutschland next weekend will be his first outing on asphalt in the car.