Home hero Takamoto Katsuta will pilot a Toyota Yaris at the Central Rally Aichi / Gifu 2019 (9 – 10 November), while Hyundai has yet to confirm who will drive its i20.
“I am so excited to drive the Yaris WRC on Japanese roads. I hope many rally fans and beginners come and enjoy the Yaris WRC with me,” said Katsuta, who makes his WRC World Rally Car debut at next week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland (22 – 25 August).
Hyundai Motorsport team director Andrea Adamo said the rally would help his team understand the characteristics of the asphalt roads in the region where it is hoped Rally Japan will return to the FIA World Rally Championship next season.
“For us, the Asian market is really important and therefore we are thrilled to join the event. Japan is not far from Korea so I even hope we will have the support from Korean fans along the stages,” he said.
The test event, hosted by WRC Japan Round Bid Committee, will be held the week before Kennards Hire Rally Australia, allowing team representatives to inspect the service park and special stages en route to the WRC’s season-closing event.
It will trial stages planned for inclusion in next year’s still-to-be confirmed WRC round and will also be used to train organisers and marshals.
The rally will be based at Expo Park in Nagakute City on Japan’s main island of Honshu. It lies 260km from capital city Tokyo and boasts a population of about eight million people.
Fourteen speed tests covering about 150km will feature in a route of 730km in the Aichi and Gifu prefectures.