WRC FORUM8 Rally Japan: Timetable, route, how to watch, live stream, preview

by Christina S. Brown
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FORUM8 Rally Japan, the home of championship-winning manufacturer Toyota, will host the final round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship, twelve years after it last appeared on the WRC schedule.

FORUM8 Rally Japan is hosting the final round twelve years after it last appeared on the WRC fixture list, implying that the outcome of both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ world titles could be decided in Japan.

“With high costs involved with long-distance events, the team and Adrien feel it is in everyone’s interests to focus on Adrien’s schedule for 2023 with M-Sport in the WRC as well as with development project,” the team states in a statement.

Fourmaux’s withdrawal means he only competed in one of the season’s last four tournaments. Following his Ypres Rally crash, he was removed from Acropolis Rally Greece, with M-Sport explaining that it could not repair the Frenchman’s car in time.

Fourmaux’s Rally Japan entry was withdrawn by M-Sport just one week before the event. The Frenchman was entered to race with Craig Breen and Gus Greensmith in a Ford Puma Rally1.

Here is everything you need to know about Rally Japan below:

How to Watch Live WRC FORUM8 Rally Japan:

For the first time in more than a decade, we return to the Land of the Rising Sun for the last round of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season. Set your alarms, and don’t miss a second of the excitement on WRC+.

WRC FORUM8 Rally Japan Preview:

Adrien Fourmaux will not compete in the WRC finale at Rally Japan next week.

M-Sport has withdrawn Fourmaux from the next round in New Zealand after “reassessing Fourmaux’s ambitions for the 2022 season,” but the club has confirmed that the 27-year-old will drive in Spain. He raced in Spain last year, finishing as the highest-placed M-Sport driver in P8.

According to M-Sport, there is a chance the Frenchman may stay with the team next season. The British team, like Toyota and Hyundai, is yet to announce its lineup for next season. Craig Breen is M-only Sport’s driver signed for 2023.

The winner of the coveted FIA WRC2 title for Rally2 vehicles will also be determined when the curtain falls on the WRC’s 50th season and the first hybrid-powered Rally1 era.

Rally Japan’s WRC hiatus has lasted 12 years, and its comeback after two postponed attempts due to the global pandemic is widely anticipated.

In addition to the warm reception from spectators, who will see the WRC’s stars and cars put through their paces on an all-new event, with the gravel roads of Hokkaido Island to the north replaced by Tarmac twists and turns on Honshu, Japan’s main island and home to 104 million people.

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This year’s Rally Japan will be held in Toyota City, some 40 kilometers southeast of Nagoya, and will feature narrow and tricky stages never before used in the WRC. With steep terrain increasing the likelihood of frigid temperatures and changing weather, tire strategy will be a big topic of discussion. Early starts will also be necessary when the event takes place from November 10 to 13.

Rally Japan will also cap off a year of celebrations for the World Rally Championship’s 50th anniversary. The 13th round of the season, though, will be all about the WRC’s sustainable present and future.

Rally1 cars are planned to transition to electric mode only in designated Hybrid Electric Vehicle zones adjacent to event service parks, in addition to driving on 100% fossil-free gasoline.

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT’s Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen have secured the overall Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ titles, respectively, and Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team’s Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville will face off for the runner-up spot in Japan. However, Tänak is 21 points ahead of his teammate.

The WRC2 championship is far from guaranteed. Andreas Mikkelsen of Toksport WRT Koda is five points ahead of teammate Emil Lindholm and three-time FIA European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

Due to Mikkelsen’s absence from Rally Japan, the championship battle will be between Lindholm and Kajetanowicz. However, even if both drivers fail, Mikkelsen might be named champion from afar.

The Rally Japan coincides with Toyota City Mayor Toshihiko Ota’s Sustainability Forum. The event will bring together critical local government representatives and industry specialists to explore how innovations produced via motorsport may help the environment.

The Route For 2022 WRC FORUM8 Rally Japan:

Rally Japan 2022 kicks off on Thursday at 5:38 p.m. local time with a 2.75-kilometer super special. The servicing begins at 05:34 a.m. on Friday, ahead of a difficult day of rallying east of Toyota City that includes three repeated stages over a competitive distance of 130.22 kilometers.

At 23.29 kilometers, the day-opening Isegami’s Tunnel is the rally’s longest. On Saturday’s 80.48-kilometer leg, which concludes with the 1.40-kilometer Okazaki City superspecial, double laps of the Nukata Forest and Lake Mikawako stages are scheduled on either side of the single-use Shinshiro City stage.

The last leg of the 2022 season is 69.82 kilometers long. It includes visits to the Asahi Kougen, and Ena City stages northeast of Toyota City on either side of the Nenoue Plateau test. The points-paying Power Stage begins at 14:18 hrs on the second run of the 7.52-kilometer Asahi Kougen test.

WRC FORUM8 Rally Japan Information:

Stage distance:283.27 km
Total distance:965.25 km
Several stages:19

CONTENDERS FOR RALLY 1

The attention will be on the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team pairings of Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe. They are battling to finish second in the final FIA World Rally Championship standings to Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen.

Rovanperä/Halttunen will be joined on what is essentially a high-speed lap of honor on Toyota’s home event by Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin and eight-time champion Sébastien Ogier, who will be co-driven by Vincent Landais for the first time after Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT wrapped up the Manufacturers’ championship on the previous round in Spain.
Local star Takamoto Katsuta is co-driving a fourth Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 under the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT NG brand alongside Irishman Aaron Johnson.

Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera complete the Hyundai challenge, while Craig Breen/James Fulton and Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson prepare to represent the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team. Fulton takes over for Paul Nagle, who retired from full-time racing after his 102nd WRC start in Spain last month. Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria and Jourdan Serderidis/Frédéric Miclotte have withdrawn their Ford Puma Rally1 participation.

THE ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES

The FIA WRC2 category has received a high-level 17-car entry for the season finale, which will pit Kajetan Kajetanowicz (koda Fabia Rally2) against Emil Lindholm (Toksport WRT koda Fabia Rally2). Teemu Suninen leads the Hyundai Motorsport N charge in his i20 N Rally2, with Australian Luke Anear taking the lead in the Ford Fiesta Rally2.

American Sean Johnston and Japanese veteran Toshi Arai, a two-time Production world champion, are powered by Citroen C3 Rally2. Heikki Kovalainen, an ex-Formula One driver, has been a consistent victor in the Japanese championship this season and makes his WRC debut at 41. Mauro Miele will try to catch Armin Kremer, who will not compete in Japan, and win the WRC2 Masters Cup.

The FIA World Rally Championship allows national drivers to demonstrate their skills and earn international experience. They include Osamu Fukunaga, Norihiko Katsuta – father of Toyota Rally1 star Takamoto – and Hiroki Arai, Toshi Arai’s son – for Rally Japan.

ACCEPTANCE IN THE MEDIA

Accredited permit holders must receive media accreditation in person from the Accreditation Desk located on the B1 Floor of the Toyota Stadium, the Rally Japan Service Park, 7-2 Sengoku-Cho, Toyota, Aichi 471-0016. N35 05 04.4 E137 10 15.4 are the GPS coordinates.

The following opening hours apply:
Tuesday, November 8: 14:00-18:00 hrs
Wednesday, November 9: 08:00-18:00 hrs
Thursday, November 10: 08:00-18:00 hrs

The Media Centre is located on the B1 Floor of the Toyota Stadium, 7-2 Sengoku-Cho, Toyota, Aichi 471-0016. GPS Coordinates: N35 05 04.4 E137 10 15.4.

The following opening hours apply:
Tuesday, November 8: 08:00-18:00 hrs
Wednesday, November 9: 08:00-20:00 hrs
Thursday, November 10: 08:00-22:00 hrs
Friday, November 11: 05:30-22:00 hrs
Saturday, November 12: 05:30-22:00 hrs
Sunday, November 13: 06:30-21:00 hrs

2022 RALLY JAPAN TIMETABLE & MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES

Wednesday, November 9
FIA Tabard Media Safety Briefing, Media Centre, Toyota Stadium16:00 hrs
Team media functions (contact teams directly for information)From 16:45 hrs
Thursday, November 10
Shakedown for P1 and invited drivers, Kuragaike Park Reverse, 2.80kms09:01-10:30 hrs
Shakedown for all priority drivers, Kuragaike Park Reverse, 2.80kms10:30-11:30 hrs
Shakedown for non-priority drivers, Kuragaike Park Reverse, 2.80kms11:30-13:00 hrs
Meet the Crews, Toyota Stadium13:30 hrs
Pre-event FIA press conference, Media Centre, Toyota Stadium*14:00 hrs
Autograph session, Toyota Stadium15:20 hrs
Rally Show and ceremonial start, Toyota Stadium15:45 hrs
Beginning of Section 1, Toyota Stadium17:00 hrs
Friday, November 11
Start of Section 2, Toyota Stadium05:30 hrs
Meet the Crews, Toyota Stadium18:30 hrs (approx.)
Saturday, November 12
Start of Section 4, Toyota Stadium05:50 hrs
Meet the Crews, Toyota Stadium17:30 hrs (approx.)
Sunday, November 13
Start of Section 7, Toyota Stadium06:40 hrs
Podium Ceremony, Toyota Stadium17:00 hrs
Post-event FIA press conference, Media Centre, Toyota Stadium*17:30 hrs

*Press Conferences will be available to accredited media attending onsite and no longer be streamed via Zoom. However, a written transcript will be available afterward. 

MEDIA ZONES
All priority drivers (and co-drivers upon request) will be available for media interviews during the following Media Zones: TC4A, TC7A, TC10A, TC14A, and TC19A.

FIA PRESS CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE

Thursday November 10

14:00 – FIA WRC2 CHAMPIONSHIP 
Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL), Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
Toksport WRT – Emil Lindholm (FIN), Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Škoda Fabia
Osamu Fukunaga (JPN), Škoda Fabia
Toshi Arai (JPN), Citroën C3 Rally2

14:15 – FIA WRC CHAMPIONSHIP

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Takamoto Katsuta (JPN) and Vincent Landais (FRA), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Ott Tänak (EST), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
M-Sport Ford WRT – Gus Greensmith (GBR), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid
Pirelli – Terenzio Testoni (ITA), Rally Activity Manager

Sunday, November 13 (from 17:30)

Top three drivers in the overall classification
Representative of the winning manufacturer
Winning FIA WRC2 Championship drivers (Open, Junior, and Masters Cup)

2022 RALLY JAPAN MANUFACTURER ENTRIES

 

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRTKalle Rovanperä (FIN) / Jonne Halttunen (FIN) – #69
Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR) – #33
Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Vincent Landais (FRA) – #1
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRTOtt Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST) – #8
Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) – #11
Dani Sordo (ESP) / Cándido Carrera – #6
M-Sport Ford WRTCraig Breen (IRL) / James Fulton (IRL) – #42
Gus Greensmith (GBR) / Jonas Andersson (SWE) – #44

2022 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS 

 

The provisional classification following round 12 of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season is available at this link: https://www.fia.com/events/world-rally-championship/season-2022/standings.

2010 RALLY JAPAN RESULTS

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien IngrassiaCitroën C4 WRC3h10m26.4s
2 Petter Solberg/Chris PattersonCitroën C4 WRC+15.7s
3 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka AnttilaFord Focus RS WRC ‘09+26.0s

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