Finland WRC: Katsuta crashes out on Stage 8

Takamoto Katsuta has become the first World Rally Championship driver to hit trouble at Rally Finland after a high-speed crash on Saturday morning.

Finland WRC: Katsuta crashes out on Stage 8

The Toyota driver, who won the rally’s opening stage on Friday, suffered a wild moment on the second stage of the Saturday morning loop only 400 metres from the finish.

Katsuta, partnered with a new co-driver for the event in Aaron Johnston, ran wide upon landing from a jump, resulting in the Yaris clipping a tree with the right rear. The impact spun the car across the road and into the undergrowth.

Unable to rejoin the road, the pair, both unscathed from the impact, were forced to exit the stranded car with the stage end almost in sight.

Katsuta had started the day sitting eighth having dropped 21s on Friday’s Stage 2 after a wild 360-degree spin following a high-speed sixth gear left-hander. Luckily the pair managed to avoid any contact and was able to re-fire the car.

Toyota is hopeful Katsuta will be able to continue under restart rules on Sunday.

Katsuta was not the only driver to hit trouble on Saturday morning as WRC2 driver Oliver Solberg rolled on Stage 7.

Details of the crash remain unclear but Solberg’s car was pictured on its roof next to some trees on the stage. Solberg and new co-driver Craig Drew confirmed they were “okay” after the impact.

“We have stopped 3.3km into SS7. Both me and Craig are okay,” read a post on Twitter.

The pair had started the day fourth in the WRC2 class. 

Aside from the high-profile accidents, there has been plenty of drama at the front of the field as Toyota’s Elfyn Evans leapt from third to the lead after winning the opening two stages of the morning loop.

Evans had started the day 6.1s adrift of Hyundai’s Craig Breen but two standout times on the first two stages saw the Welshman move into 0.9s lead over the Irishman.

Crews will tackle nine stages in total on Saturday, the longest day of the rally.

 

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