Toy­ota ju­niors set for Es­to­nia de­but SORDO IN­JURED IN TEST­ING CRASH

Spa­niard suf­fers back in­jury and may miss Fin­land

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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.

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