Katsuta’s inclusion is the only new face in an otherwise unchanged line-up for the Japanese manufacturer, which dominated the 2022 season by clinching the drivers’, co-drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns.

Alongside Northern Irish co-driver Aaron Johnston, Katsuta impressed Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala with his performances this year; this culminated in a brace of podium finishes at Safari Rally Kenya in June and last weekend’s Rally Japan.

“I’m really excited to make this next step in my career,” said the 29-year-old, who has graduated from Toyota’s WRC Challenge Program.

“To have this kind of role with the team has been a big target for me and I want to thank Toyota Gazoo Racing for giving me such an amazing opportunity.

“Of course, it will bring a bit more pressure than before, but I am very motivated to keep working hard to be ready for next season and to do the best job I can for the team.”

Ogier is expected to enter half of the rounds that make up the 2023 calendar alongside new co-driver Vincent Landais in the third manufacturer points-scoring seat, with Katsuta reverting to a fourth GR Yaris Rally1 when this happens. Elfyn Evans and reigning World champion Kalle Rovanpera, meanwhile, are preparing for full campaigns.

“It’s very nice to welcome Takamoto into our main line-up to share a car with Sebastien while also still gaining the experience of a full season,” said Latvala.

“We believe the time is right for him to make this step: In 2022 he was the WRC’s most consistent scorer so we are confident he can bring good points for the team.

“Our other drivers have all proven they can win rallies and fight for championships. Kalle will have a new challenge trying to defend his title but he will be very motivated and loves driving the car.

“For Elfyn on the other hand it has not been an easy 2022 season but he finished it with a good feeling in the car and we are sure he will be strong in 2023.

“Finally, Seb has shown that even when doing a part-season he has the pace to win and he brings a lot to the team.”