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27 years after a similar car won the Swedish Rally, a Mazda 323 4WD won the historic car Swedish Rally. This was the car of Kenneth Tomasson, who finished 46 seconds in front of the Ford Escort Mark 2 of the 2005 Swedish Rally winner Petter Solberg. Third was the 1992 and 1993 winner, Mats Jonsson, in another Mazda. = = = = Who is Takamoto Katsuta, winner of WRC2 in Sweden? Enjoying the new performance of the new Pirelli rally tyres was the Japanese driver Katsuta, who led the WRC2 category almost all the way on the Swedish Rally in a Fiesta R5. Though not having an internationally famous family name as his Tommi Makinen Racing teammate, Hiroki Arai, Takamoto comes from a highly respect rallying family in Japan. He is the son of Norihiko Katsuta, four times Japanese Rally Champion. Takamoto started his motorsport career in karting, moving on to Formula 3 racing, before being earmarked for a rally career under Toyota.
Takamoto Katsuta

Takamoto Katsuta was a surprise WRC2 winner in Sweden. Photo: Holmes

= = = = Enjoying the superior performance of Pirelli’s new R5 winter tyres, Kalle Rovanpera won the Vaakuna Rally ahead of Teemu Asunmaa and Eerik Pietarinen. This was the second round of the Finnish championship, based at Mikkeli. Skoda cars were 1-2-3. = = = = Ricardo Moura (Fiesta) beat Miguel Barbosa (Fabia) on the Portuguese national championship Rali Serras de Fafe by 1.7 seconds. The new national Hyundai R5 team of Armindo Araujo and Carlos Vieira came fifth and sixth. = = = = Citroen Racing has announced that they expect their new C3 R5 car to be homologated on April 1, the week before the world championship Tour de Corse Rally. Hyundai, meanwhile, have announced an improved version of their i20 R5, which will now be fitted with variable valve timing, the final “joker” modification permitted for their current R5 car. It is due to be validated on March 1. Increased power and greater throttle response are promised. = = = =
World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristofferson

World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristofferson, learnt plenty at Rally Sweden. Photo: Holmes

FIA’s World Rallycross Champion, Johan Kristofferson, learned new skills when he competed at the Swedish Rally. He said it had been two years since he last contested a rally. Apart from declaring that the reason he entered was to improve his rallycross driving when he suddenly encountered different surface conditions on joker laps, he discovered a lot more. He found that slower cars seeded in front of him were in his way (he was running 46th car on the road, behind all the WRCJ R2 cars), and he learned how to unblock snow from the air intake. On Saturday night his Skoda was the fastest car in the R5 class on the Karlstad super special! He finished 17th overall, sixth best in the R5 class. = = = = The opening round of the Kenyan national rally championship was the Top Fry Nakuru Rally, won by Onkar Rei’s Fabia R5, in front of the Mitsubishi Evo Xs of Baldev Chager and Ian Duncan.
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