Rally Japan still scheduled but WRC monitoring COVID situation

The World Rally Championship season finale in Japan remains scheduled to go ahead although organisers are constantly monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.

Japan is set to host the championship’s final round from 11-14 November although the rising number of COVID-19 cases has resulted in confirmation this week that October’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix will be cancelled for a second consecutive year.

MotoGP has already scrubbed its Japanese GP from its calendar earlier this year before this week’s decision to cancel the Malaysian Grand Prix, both events meant to be run in October.

The news preceded confirmation that GT and F3 World Cup races at Macau from 17-21 November have also been cancelled as the Asian region continues to battle the effects of the pandemic.

WRC has so far avoided any COVID-19 induced calendar shake ups this season but a visit to Japan could prove problematic.

As it stands, WRC personnel would be required to undertake a 14 day quarantine upon entry to Japan, which would be feasible given the current calendar structure - the previous event being Rally Spain held across 14-17 October.

For the moment Rally Japan, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, remains scheduled to go ahead with the WRC confirming to Motorsport.com that it is working closely with rally organisers FORUM8.

Takamoto Katsuta, Daniel Barritt, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Takamoto Katsuta, Daniel Barritt, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“We continue to work with FORUM8 Rally Japan organisers, alongside national and local authorities, to ensure the safe and successful holding of the event – just as we do with all events on the WRC calendar in these challenging times,” read a statement from Simon Larkin, WRC senior event director.

“We will make decisions based on the conditions related to WRC.”

However, should Rally Japan drop off the schedule, Motorsport.com’s Italian edition has reported that Rally Monza could fill the vacant final round slot, as it did last year when it concluded a significantly reduced 2020 season due to COVID-19.

The WRC is set to visit Greece for its next round of the championship with the return of the Acropolis Rally from 9-12 September.

Despite the country suffering from wild fires, Motorsport.com understands planning for the event is going ahead as normal with the planned rally route situated away from the affected regions.

An entry list for the famous gravel event has been released which has revealed Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta will once again be joined by Keaton Williams in the co-driver seat, as he looks set to continue to stand in for the injured Daniel Barritt.

shares
comments

Related video

WRC Belgium: The Good, The Bad and The Bizarre

Previous article

WRC Belgium: The Good, The Bad and The Bizarre

Next article

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?
Load comments
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
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021