Katayama struggling in the sands (somewhere)

FORMER Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama has been competing in the Paris-Dakar Rally this year at the wheel of a diesel engine, production-based Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4. The 38-year-old Japanese driver, who tried to climb Mount Everest without oxygen last year, moved up through the field to be running in 39th place but in the course of the 11th stage he dropped back to 50th. On yesterday's 12th stage, between Tidjikja and Tichitt in Mauretania, Katayama and his co-driver Hidemi Hayashi failed to make it to the finish and are still to turn up at Tichitt, where the rally completed another stage today.

When he does reappear Katayama will almost certainly retire from the event.

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