The EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 has claimed another victory in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series – Takamoto Katsuta and Daniel Barritt piloting their Fiesta to the top step of the WRC 2 podium at this weekend’s Rally Chile.
The pairing had been locked in an intense fight for the win with fellow Fiesta R5 crew Alberto Heller and Jose Diaz. Throughout the weekend, the battling duos were never separated by more than a handful of seconds and claimed 12 of the 16 fastest stage times.
Heading into the final day of competition, Heller trailed Katsuta by 12.8 seconds and was keen to chase down a maiden victory on home soil. The Chilean pushed hard, and it looked to be working – 12 seconds quicker through Lircay (SS14) before rolling his Fiesta out of contention and handing the Japanese driver his second WRC 2 win with the Fiesta.
In the WRC 2 Pro category, Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson were hampered by some technical issues, but persevered to secure third place and retake the lead of the championship.
An exciting event now awaits the Brits as they prepare to make their debut in the top-specification EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC – driving for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team at next month’s Rally de Portugal.
Takamoto Katsuta (1st WRC 2) said:
“This was not an easy rally and there was a lot to learn on these new stages. But generally I am quite happy with how we performed and very happy to take the win. It was a really good fight with Alberto and I knew that this was his home event and that he would push of course. But I also wanted to win and I tried my best. The conditions were very tricky, and I feel very sorry for him because he was very quick. Hopefully we can have another good fight in the future.”
Gus Greensmith (3rd WRC 2 Pro) said:
“This weekend was tough, but in the end we still managed to bring home 15 points and retake the lead of the championship. Kalle [Rovanperä] and Mads [Østberg] have gained some ground on us which isn’t ideal, but the only thing I’m thinking about now is making my WRC debut in Portugal. It’s going to be awesome. We’re testing next week and I just cannot wait to get behind the wheel. What can I say, the best job in the world is about to get a whole lot better!”