Rally Japan set for return to WRC schedule as early as 2019


Credit: Citroen Racing

WRC Japan Round Bid Committee have outlined plans to bring the FIA World Rally Championship to Japanese shores once again, for the first time since 2010.

If the bid is successful, the event will take place in the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu on Honshu, rather than the northern island of Hokkaido where previous editions have been held.

With the Aichi Expo Park, location of the 2005 World Fair being identified as a potential service park area, organisers are keen to bring the championship back to Japan as soon as 2019.

Credit: Citroen Racing

Planned routes would encompass the iconic Mount Fuji, between Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya.

The return of Toyota Gazoo Racing to the top-level rally category has spiked interest in rallying once again in the country, with the manufacturer also supporting the development of Japanese talent, Hiroki Arai and Takamoto Katsuta, who will take on five WRC2 rounds this season.

Rally Japan was a regular fixture on the WRC calendar between 2004 and 2010, with Sébastien Ogier and Julian Ingrassia taking thier Citroen C4 to victory in the last outing.