Star Sports

Takamoto wants ‘more fire’ in Kenya

Takamoto in Swahili means “want fire”. That’s exactly what has been ringing in the mind of Japanese Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Takamoto Kasuta.

His initial experience in Kenya looked quite scary but this has turned out to be a thriller of sorts for Toyota star.

“It looked a bit scary here because we were not allowed to test in Africa. So everything we encountered from shakedown to the super special in Nairobi and the Great Rift Valley terrain was a surprise. To me, it is a pleasant surprise so I want to do this again and again.” 

Takamoto is a product of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Challenge program. From the age of 12, Takamoto (Taka-san to his mates) looked to be fast track bound for Formula 1.

The third-generation competitor Takamoto changed lanes and followed his celebrated father into the sport’s muddier side. His father is Norihiko Katsuta, a rallying legend, with eight Japanese Rally Championship titles.

Takamoto who led the Safari following the exit of Belgian Thierry Neuville on Sunday morning sounded quite enthusiastic about the conditions: “I have never used wipers without rain until Safari when we ran the thick dust volcanic ash soil stretches. I have never also driven on grass.

The terrain here is unpredictable and changes within just a few kilometers. “I am already looking forward to next year. This is one event that tests your ability to great lengths,” said Takamoto.

Gus Greensmith of M-Sport shared similar sentiments, saying on his part Safari is something different and fun to drive.

“The Safari is actually one of the three events including Rally Turkey that have been exceptional to me,” he said. 


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