Japan and Chile now both expected to host 2019 WRC rounds

Japan and Chile are now both set to join the 2019 World Rally Championship calendar, meaning a European event will lose its place

Japan and Chile now both expected to host 2019 WRC rounds

Chile's chances of joining the calendar were boosted in April after it hosted a candidate event that WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said "really delivered".

That event was initially thought to be vying with Japan with a space on the 2019 schedule, but Autosport sources have now indicated Rally Japan will be included on the provisional calendar presented to the FIA in the autumn.

WRC Promoter has previously said the calendar will expand from 13 to 14 rounds next year, but Japan's return for the first time since 2010 will force out a European rally, which sources have predicted will be the Tour of Corsica.

The event is unpopular with the teams for its logistical expense, while a limited number of fans also attend the rally.

Tour of Corsica organisers declined to comment when contacted by Autosport.

With Rally Turkey returning this year and the Safari expected back in 2020, WRC Promoter will introduce four new events in just three seasons.

Having a rally in place in 2019 is understood to be a key part of Japan's efforts to raise its sporting profile ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

The all-new event will shift south from its former base on Hokkaido, running on the main island closer to Tokyo.

While WRC Promoter is keen to increase the number of events further to 15, teams have stressed they are not yet ready for such a move.

One source told Autosport: "What we need now is for everybody to be getting something from the championship.

"The teams have been paid by the promoter for Turkey; it's part of the agreement that there's a fee for them to cover some of the logistics.

"That's a multi-year agreement as well, so the teams will be paid as long as we're going to Turkey.

"The promoter has to make that happen, it's keen to make a new funding model work where rallies have to pay their way - just as they do in Formula 1.

"It will be the same agreement with Chile, Japan and Safari when they arrive."

As part of a two-year review, WRC Promoter has scrutinised every rally and sources suggest events like Corsica and Rally Germany have the weakest financial case moving forward.

FIA president Jean Todt was joined by Ciesla in Paris to sign a promotion agreement with the organisers of the Safari Rally last month.

A Nairobi-based candidate event will run in March or April 2019.

Some 11 rallies - eight of which are outside Europe - have an active interest in joining the WRC, placing more pressure on the existing events.

Croatia is busy rebuilding a case for a WRC round, with government funding, but a planned Zagreb-based event is not believed to be among the 11.

shares
comments
Major route revamp for World Rally Championship finale in Australia

Previous article

Major route revamp for World Rally Championship finale in Australia

Next article

WRC considering F1-style group asphalt tests to reduce costs

WRC considering F1-style group asphalt tests to reduce costs
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author David Evans
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021