The start of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship is just around the corner, with the first rally being held now this week at the world-famous Rallye Monte-Carlo.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla is now looking forward to a competitive season, with Japan, Kenya and New Zealand which have been re-introduced to the calendar and to take place in the championship that will run for first at six continents.
Talking about the return of classic rallies in Kenya and New Zealand, along with a new-look event in Japan, Ciesla spoke of why rallies outside of Europe have been chosen.
“We wanted to further globalise the WRC by featuring more events outside Europe,” said Ciesla. “It’s the first time the WRC has included six continents – Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia – in its 48-year history.
“Japan’s comeback, mainstream Asia’s first appearance for 10 years, and the return of Kenya’s Safari Rally, one of motorsport’s legendary contests, provide a presence in the world’s largest two continents by size for the first time in more than two decades.”
For the first time since 2012, New Zealand returns to the calendar and while fans will have to wait until September for the event, there is a sense of excitement building already.
“New Zealand requires no introduction. It has a long and successful WRC heritage and its flowing and cambered smooth special stages near Auckland will be one of the year’s high points.” Ciesla added.