Takamoto Katsuta will compete in the FIA World Rally Championship full time next season for Toyota GAZOO Racing.
Katsuta, who has been part of the Japanese manufacturers development program in recent seasons, made his Rally1 debut in 2019 before expanding his program during the COVID-19 hit 2020 season where he took a best result of seventh on Rallye Monte Carlo.
He also caused something of a surprise on the final stage of the season – the Power Stage on Rally Monza – where he claimed a shock stage win in soaking wet conditions.
For 2021 he is set to earn a full-season in the championship aboard a Yaris WRC with regular co-driver Dan Barritt continuing alongside him. Former Toyota WRC driver Juho Hänninen will also aid his development in a mentoring role throughout the season.
“This (2020) was a very difficult season for everybody and it was not easy to learn like usual, but my performance and my driving has improved since the beginning of the year,” said Katsuta.
“Of course, the rally results were not there but there were still some good stages, and I have a better understanding about different conditions and car setup.
“It’s been a good experience for me and my confidence is definitely much better than before. Thank you to the team and everyone around me who have supported me a lot.”
The announcment means Katsuta will compete in a four-car Toyota entry in next season’s WRC, with him joining newly-crowned seven time champion Sebastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä in the team.