Japan wants return to WRC calendar
Toyota’s return to FIA World Rally Championship in 2017 opened a new chapter in the world’s premier rally competition. The next step could be a return of Rally Japan to WRC calendar. Rally Japan was a part of the World Championship six times between 2004 and 2010 (not held in 2009).
A consortium of motorsport organisers, gathered under the name of WRC Japan Round Bid Committee, announced details of Japanese bid at the Tokyo Auto Salon. They want WRC’s return to Japan as soon as possible, stating that country could host an event as early as 2019.
In six previous editions, Rally Japan took place on the northern island of Hokkaido. Now, the event is planned to take place in the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu on Honshu island. The special stages will go over the iconic Mount Fuji, between Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya. The service park will be located in the Aichi Expo Park, a location of the 2005 World Fair.
The last Rally Japan winner in 2010 was Sebastien Ogier in a Citroen C4 WRC. In previous five editions, between 2004 and 2008, the winners were Petter Solberg (2004, Subaru Impreza), Marcus Gronholm (2005, Peugeot 307), Sebastien Loeb (2006, Citroen Xsara) and Mikko Hirvonen (2007 and 2008, Ford Focus).