British youngster Keaton Williams joins WRC top-flight
Motorsport UK Academy Team UK co-driver Keaton Williams will co-drive for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC pilot Takamoto Katsuta at next week’s Renties Ypres Rally Belgium (13 – 15 August 2021).
The young Briton steps in for Daniel Barritt who was advised to miss the Belgian round after reporting back and neck pain following a heavy landing on the fourth leg of the WRC in Estonia. The late call-up will mark Keaton’s competitive debut in a World Rally Car, and naturally, it was an opportunity the 26-year-old co-driver couldn’t refuse.
It will be no mean feat for Keaton to make his inaugural appearance in Belgium, an event that has also never been featured previously on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar. But Williams has experienced Ypres previously. Back in 2019, he co-drove for Josh McErlean in the Motorsport UK Junior British Rally Championship in a Peugeot 208 R2, and earlier in the week, the Brit also revealed that he has tested with Katsuta on previous occasions.
“I’ve got an idea of what I’m getting myself into,” Keaton told WRC.com. “It’s just going to be the things in between the stages like the work with the engineers and the team communication and that side of things. Obviously, it’s a shame that Dan’s been injured as he has been, but I’m here to do a job at the end of the day.”
Williams makes his competitive outing at an event that has attracted the biggest entry for an FIA World Rally Championship round in almost six years, with 108 competitors on the entry list. That’s the most since Rallye de France – Tour de Corse in 2015 when 123 crews started.
Motorsport UK wishes Daniel Barritt a speedy recovery and the best of luck to Keaton.
Full coverage from the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium will be available on WRC+ All Live, including every stage broadcast as the action happens alongside interviews, features and expert analysis.