Belgium replaces Japan on 2020 WRC calendar

Rally Japan has been axed from the 2020 WRC calendar and been replaced by a new event in Belgium.

Belgium replaces Japan on 2020 WRC calendar

Japan had kept its slot on this year's schedule when the FIA revealed a refreshed calendar in the wake of multiple events being cancelled in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The East Asian country's first WRC event since 2010 was due to take place on November 19-22 but has had to be called off due to ongoing border restrictions.

Now the date has been take over by the asphalt-based Ypres Rally, giving Belgium a round of the world championship for the first time.

A statement said the rally will comprise around 300km of special stages across three days, including a Power Stage featuring elements of the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

“We’re very disappointed Rally Japan will not happen this year due to the pandemic, in particular given all the hard work undertaken by the Japanese authorities, the Japanese Automobile Federation and the organising team," said FIA rally director Yves Matton.

“Belgium has a great tradition and passion for rally, evidenced by the number of Belgians in various roles – drivers, mechanics, team principal, journalists – in the WRC.

"The route will showcase the DNA of the rally as it crosses the country by linking Ypres to Spa-Francorchamps, two iconic venues of Belgian motorsport."

Belgium's addition to the WRC calendar comes as a boost to Thierry Neuville's title hopes, as the Hyundai driver won the Ypres Rally in 2018.

Craig Breen, who rejoins Hyundai for next month's Rally Estonia, won in Ypres last year.

Revised 2020 WRC calendar:

Round  Rally  Date 
1 Monte-Carlo  23 - 26 January 
2 Sweden  13 - 16 February 
3 Mexico  12 - 15 March 
4 Estonia  4 - 6 September 
5 Turkey  18 - 20 September 
6 Germany  15 - 18 October 
7 Italy  29 October - 1 November 
8 Belgium 19 - 22 November 
shares
comments
Turkey date change opens door for Belgian WRC round

Previous article

Turkey date change opens door for Belgian WRC round

Next article

Loeb to make Hyundai WRC return in Rally Turkey

Loeb to make Hyundai WRC return in Rally Turkey
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021