World Rally Championship cars were present in the centre of Nagoya City on Saturday to help launch the series’ return to Japan next year.
Rally Japan organisers were on hand to explain a route which remains almost unchanged from the itinerary which had been plotted for last weekend’s event. The 2020 fixture was sadly cancelled earlier in the year due to the global Coronavirus pandemic.
To launch the 2021 event, a replica Toyota Yaris World Rally Car, a Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Impreza World Rally Car were on display.
Next year’s event, Japan’s first on the WRC calendar since 2010, will run as the season finale on 11 – 14 November.
Rally Japan Executive Committee chairman Koji Takahashi said: “With the co-operation of the host municipalities, we will try to organise a great event.
“In that way, more people can watch Rally Japan, experience the real charm of the rally and enjoy the thrill that the international event will bring. We promise to make next year’s event a success with the understanding and support of everyone.”
The action will start in Nagoya with a ceremonial start on Thursday November 11. The next three days’ asphalt competition is split between the Aichi and Gifu prefectures.
The service park has been moved from Ai Chikyu-haku Memorial Park, commonly known as Morikoro Park, to Toyota Stadium in Toyota City. The stages due to be run in Morikoro Park will go ahead as planned.
Aichi is widely regarded as the capital of Japan’s car culture and the prefecture’s governor Hideaki Ohmura said he looked forward to welcoming the series.
He added: “Motorsport is a part of the culture of automobiles. We want to boost motorsport from Aichi prefecture, where is the centre of the world largest automobile industry. As I think there is such a mission, I would like to liven up Rally Japan 2021 with everyone.”