30 Apr 08
The organisers of Rally Japan have unveiled the centrepiece of the 2008 event - a brand new Superspecial inside the 42,000 seat Sapporo Dome.
Built in the arena which hosted three games of the 2002 football World Cup, the Superspecial features a tunnel, a jump and - for the first time ever on an indoor track - two cars running head-to-head.
This year marks the fifth time Rally Japan has been part of the World Championship. Between 2004 and 2007 it was based from the city of Obihiro but this year, in an effort to more spectators, it has moved to the larger city of Sapporo in central Hokkaido.
Organisers hope that the excellent transport links to and from the Dome, and the fact that the enclosed stadium is weather proof will attract thousands of fans to the event.
Most of the key facilities will be based at the Sapporo Dome, including rally headquarters, the service park and the overnight parc ferme. The pre-event shakedown test and ceremonial start will also take place inside the stadium.
Originally Rally Japan was scheduled to run in the last week of October but in March this year the FIA World Motor Sport Council approved the organiser's request to move it one week later in order to use the Dome venue. The rally, round 14 of this year’s championship, will now run between 31 October and 2 November.