Japan to host climax of returning WRC

Japan will host the season-ending round of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship, which will resume in September after the Covid-19 suspension.

Estonia will host the first rally of the return in September, to be followed by events in Turkey on September 24-27 and Germany from October 15-18. The championship then moves to Italy from on October 29-November 1, before heading to Japan for the season-ending round on November 19-22.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said a September restart will allow sufficient lead time for event organisers and competitors to be fully prepared.

“Today’s restart announcement sends a clear signal that the 2020 WRC is back in business,” he said.

Following an enforced shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rallies in Argentina, Portugal, Kenya, Finland, New Zealand and Great Britain were cancelled.

The inclusion of the Japanese round may come as a surprise given that both MotoGP and Formula One cancelled their respective events in the country.

Unlike its motorsport peers, WRC successfully completed three rounds, in Monte-Carlo, Sweden and Mexico, earlier this year before Covid-19 paused the series.