Toyota juniors set for Estonia debut SORDO INJURED IN TESTING CRASH
Spaniard suffers back injury and may miss Finland
Toyota Gazoo Racing junior drivers Takamoto Katsuta and Hiroki Arai will make their European Rally Championship debut in Estonia this week.
The two drivers are gearing up for their first appearance in the World Rally Championship at Rally Finland later this month and the super-fast roads around Tartu offer great preparation for their maiden WRC outing. They will drive Tommi Makinen Racing-run Ford Fiesta R5s on both events.
Makinen said: “Katsuta and Arai have progressed markedly compared to when they started the programme. They still need more experience, but in coaching them over the last 10 months, I’m convinced that they have the potential for further growth.”
Katsuta, 23, is co-driven by Britain’s Dan Barritt, who worked with Elfyn Evans before joining Toyota Gazoo. Arai, 22, will be co-driven by Glenn Macneall, who formerly navigated Arai’s father Toshi.
This week’s Rally Estonia starts on Friday evening and finishes on Sunday afternoon following a route of 16 stages and 130 competitive miles.
Alexey Lukyanuk will start Rally Estonia as favourite for victory – the Russian knows the stages well as a former Estonian Rally Champion and won the event in an Nr4-spec Mitsubishi last year.
He trails defending European champion, current series leader and fellow Fiesta R5 driver Kajto Kajetanowicz, by 15 points ahead of the event.