The Japanese star’s continued improvement alongside Northern Ireland’s Aaron Johnston last year has been rewarded with a bit-part programme in the third ‘works’ GR Yaris Rally1 car in 2023.

Sweden could be an ideal starting point for Katsuta given that he has won the WRC2 support class at the winter event in a Ford Fiesta R5 in 2018, and finished fourth overall there 12 months ago.

In spite of the added attention his promotion is generating, Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala – a former Rally Sweden winner – has stressed “we will not be putting any extra pressure on him”.

If anything, Katsuta is putting pressure on himself not only to start repaying the faith Latvala and others at Toyota have placed in him, but to continue his upward trajectory in the sport’s top tier.

“I’m really excited for Rally Sweden,” said Katsuta who, in addition to a one-day test for Sweden, tackled Kuopio Rally in Finland over the weekend where a damaged radiator forced his retirement.

“Driving on snow feels very familiar – and comfortable – for me and I really like these conditions. Being one of the team’s three nominated drivers will maybe bring a little bit more pressure than I am used to, but this position is where I have really wanted to be,” continued the 29-year-old.

“I’m sure there will be challenging moments but I will try to manage them and bring good points for the team. I will just do my best and this is no different to before.”

While Kuopio Rally did not end the way he had intended, the extra seat time should pay dividends at round two of the World Rally Championship. And even before starting it, Katsuta said the sensation in the car that he will share with 8-time World champion Sebastien Ogier this year was very reassuring.

“In testing on snow, the feeling in the car has been incredibly good; I would say the team has made quite a big step since one year ago and hopefully this gives us more confidence in Sweden,” he said.

“Of course, the other teams are also improving and developing, so we will need to be ‘full attack’!”