June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > World Rally Championship > COULD KATSUTA FOLLOW ROVANPERÄ INTO DRIFTING?


Champion’s Endorsement: Kalle Rovanperä Applauds Takamoto Katsuta’s Drifting Prowess

Kalle Rovanperä, reigning World Rally Champion, has taken notice of his teammate Takamoto Katsuta’s foray into drifting, offering his support and admiration for Katsuta’s skills.

In the lead-up to Rally Portugal, Katsuta returned to the drifting scene after a three-year hiatus, impressing Rovanperä with his seamless transition back into the sport. Rovanperä expressed his surprise, stating, “It looked better than I was even expecting. Taka hasn’t been really practicing anywhere, just on the sim.”

Encouraged by Rovanperä’s enthusiasm, Katsuta may soon indulge more in sideways action, with plans to increase his practice sessions. Rovanperä, outlining the potential trajectory, mentioned, “The plan is for Taka to start to practice a bit more. Maybe if he has time, if he wants, we will take him to some race. Let’s see.”

The vehicle Katsuta maneuvered was a heavily modified GR Yaris, crafted by Rovanperä’s team, recently updated to enhance performance.

Rovanperä was particularly impressed by Katsuta’s fearlessness in executing challenging maneuvers, such as sliding with the car’s rear inches away from a concrete wall, a move requiring both skill and courage. He emphasized Katsuta’s abundance of both qualities, stating, “That’s the most difficult thing you can do in drifting. I knew it’s not about confidence and balls for Taka.”

Despite a crash that dashed Katsuta’s podium aspirations at Rally Portugal, Rovanperä remains confident in Katsuta’s ability to strike a balance between commitment and caution, should he decide to pursue competitive drifting. Reflecting on their exchange during the event, Rovanperä mentioned, “I was trying to calm him down, not to break the car. If he goes to drive somewhere, it will not be, for sure, an issue that he’s not pushing enough. He’s always pushing enough. It was nice to see.”

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