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Rally Japan held a high-profile launch for their bid to re-enter the World Rally Championship, from which they have been missing since 2010. Salient feature for the revival is that the event would move from the northern island of Hokkaido and be based in the south of Honshu, Japan’s main island. The event promoter is called the “WRC Japan Round Invitation Preparation Committee”, who have entered into a four year contract with WRC Promoter and were represented at the presentation by Koji Takahashi from San’s Inc. Corporation, a major Japanese media and internet company. Organisation of the event will be through Toyota Motorsports Cub and sanctioned by the Japanese federation JAF. Some dates have been proposed for a candidate event later in 2019, following which a decision about the future of the event will be made. Although earlier Rally Japan events were run on gravel roads, the special stages for the event will be run on asphalt roads and will be in Aichi and Gifu Prefectures. The event headquarters and service park will be Nagakute City’s Aichi Expo Memorial Park, known as Moricolo Park, 12km east of Nagoya City and close to Toyota’s headquarters. It was been clarified by the World Rally Championship Promoter that the candidate event for Rally Japan will be held later this year, not next year, with a view to the championship event being held in 2019. WRC Promoter also explains that Toyota Motorsports Club is one of the group of organisers that has come together under the Rally Japan Bid Committee to take on responsibility for organising the event, but has no link to the manufacturer itself, which is also not involved in the rally. Furthermore, the work of the company, SANS Inc, as a publisher, includes publishing the Japanese magazine Autosport, as well as other non-motoring publications and also organises other motorsport events, as well as the Tokyo Auto Salon.
  • Likely dates for next year's Rally Japan have been listed as September 12-15, or the first or second week in November.
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