Thumbs up for Ja­pan af­ter can­di­date event

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Ja­pan’s fu­ture in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship looks se­cure fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful run­ning of the Shin­shiro Rally can­di­date round last week­end.

The two-day event in­cluded 15 all-as­phalt stages, three of which were su­per­spe­cials through Shin­shiro Park. FIA safety del­e­gate Michele Mou­ton at­tended along with man­u­fac­turer rep­re­sen­ta­tives and WRC Pro­moter’s Oliver Ciesla. Rally Ja­pan had been widely ex­pected to re­turn to the WRC cal­en­dar next sea­son, but that has now been put back to a likely 2020 date.

Ciesla said: “From a pro­mo­tional point of view, this rally met our ex­pec­ta­tions. Ob­vi­ously, we can’t speak for the FIA, but the sport­ing chal­lenge from this rally was very good.”

Ciesla said the ap­petite for the World Rally Cham­pi­onship re­mains as strong as ever, de­spite the fact the se­ries hasn’t vis­ited since a fi­nal visit to Hokkaido for the Sap­porobased 2010 event.

“The fan­base is very, very strong,” said Ciesla, af­ter more than 50,000 turned out for the Shin­shiro Rally. “This will be a rally for the fans. The or­gan­is­ers will view next year as a warm-up year [for a pro­posed cal­en­dar re­turn in 2020]. It’s al­ready a great achieve­ment to have brought this rally back and now we have to wait one more year to come back to Ja­pan.”

Nei­ther Satur­day nor Sun­day ran to full WRC length, but the stages used were some of those which would be in­tended for the na­tion’s first WRC round held on the main is­land of Hon­shu. The route for the WRC counter would run close to Mount Fuji between Tokyo, Yoko­hama and Nagoya.

The cam­paign gath­ers pace

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.