Tuesday | 07 Sep 2021

Pandemic forces cancellation of Japan’s WRC fixture

Japan’s final round of the FIA World Rally Championship in November has been cancelled due to the continued effects of the pandemic in the country.

FORUM8 Rally Japan was due to return the WRC to the country for the first time since 2010. But a statement today by the Rally Japan 2021 executive committee said that despite all parties’ efforts to hold the event as planned, Covid-19 continued to fiercely affect the country and its population.

“Considering the characteristics of the WRC competition, which is held on public roads with the imperative co-operation of all in the local community, and the fact that in Japan the Covid-19 emergency cases continue to increase daily and alleviation of the situation remains unpredictable, together we were left with only one choice which was to, unfortunately, call off the 2021 WRC Rally Japan,” the statement read.

“We take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation for the indispensable support and understanding of all, and would like to direct our sincere gratitude to all the fans and stakeholders who have been looking forward to this first WRC Rally Japan, after 11 years.

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“We sincerely apologise for all the inconveniences this resolution may have caused, and are deeply grateful for your understanding.

Executive committee chairman Satoshi Suzuki said: “I take this opportunity to also express my heartfelt gratitude to all who worked so tirelessly in order to make this event possible.

“We are determined to do our best in order to overcome this Covid-19 pandemic and successfully be able to hold the WRC in Japan in 2022. I pray for the safety of all.”

A replacement event will be held to conclude the 2021 WRC season which will be confirmed shortly.

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