Takamoto Katsuta (right) responding to a boxed interview
On November 16th, the final round of the WRC (World Rally Championship) Rally Japan began in Aichi and Gifu prefectures. A shakedown will be held at Kuragaike Park from 9am on the 16th, followed by a ceremonial start at Toyota Stadium from 5pm. At 7pm, the first SS, the Super SS, will begin at Toyota Stadium. In this Super SS, you can enjoy a battle between the world’s fastest cars that also run on public roads, such as two cars running at the same time.
In the afternoon of the 16th, top WRC drivers were available for interviews. Japanese WRC driver Takamoto Katsuta of car No. 18 also responded to interviews.
Takamoto Katsuta’s impression of the shakedown was, “Even after watching the shakedown, the first run was completely bad.” He says that by changing the settings for the second and third runs, he was able to change things for the better.
Regarding the direction of the settings, he said, “Last year, the grip was low during the shakedown stage, but more than that, the balance was quite bad.If anything, I moved the differential to a slightly more locking direction, and adjusted the damper. Rather than high-speed rallies like Croatia, I think using dampers that increase grip will be the main focus.” It is said that the changes have been made to simplify the movement of the car and make it more flexible with dampers.
Kuragaike Park where the shakedown took place
Toyota Stadium Super SS
Rain is also forecast for this rally, but in that case, he says he will run it more softly.
Regarding the Super SS at Toyota Stadium, which is attracting a lot of attention, he said, “The Super SS itself is very attractive to run with two cars, and I think it’s a stage that even people who see it for the first time can enjoy.Of course, I would like to welcome you, and I would definitely like to try it. I’d like you to do it,” he says. However, as other drivers have said, they will be careful when going to the jumping spots on the Super SS because there is a risk of damaging the car.
What kind of scene will unfold during the Super SS at Toyota Stadium, which starts at 7pm? It’s the start of Rally Japan.