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Mon 23 Oct 2023

Entry List: FORUM8 Rally Japan

Title-hunting Toyota team-mates Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans top the entry list for FORUM8 Rally Japan, the final round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Published today (23 October), the list of registrants for the 16 – 19 November fixture confirms Dani Sordo’s first all-asphalt outing of the 2023 season as well as Adrien Fourmaux’s return to top-level competition for the first time since October last year.

Topping the entry on the home rally of their Toyota Gazoo Racing team are Rovanperä and Evans, first and second respectively in the drivers’ championship standings.

The pair will do battle at Central European Rally this week (26 – 29 October). If Evans can outscore his Finnish colleague by at least two points there, the title is guaranteed to go down to the wire in Japan.

Joining Evans and Rovanperä in a four-strong line-up of GR Yaris Rally1 cars are eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier plus local hero Takamoto Katsuta, who finished an impressive third overall on home soil last year.

Thierry Neuville won last year’s event; the first Japanese WRC round held since 2010. The Belgian spearheads Hyundai Motorsport’s charge alongside Esapekka Lappi, while Dani Sordo replaces Teemu Suninen in the third i20 N car.

Sordo has not competed at WRC level since EKO Acropolis Rally Greece in September. Japan 2022 was the last time the Spaniard started a pure asphalt WRC round, but he retired on SS2 due to a fire.

Japan will mark Ott Tänak’s final start in M-Sport Ford colours before the Estonian returns to Hyundai for 2024. Joining him in a two-pronged Puma Rally1 attack is Adrien Fourmaux, who makes his first top-flight start in more than a year as a replacement for Pierre-Louis Loubet.

Andreas Mikkelsen was planning to end his campaign at Central European Rally, but a change of decision means the WRC2-leading Norwegian is set for his Japanese debut. Other support category entrants include Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Nikolay Gryazin plus ex-Formula 1 racer Heikki Kovalainen.

The full entry list can be viewed here.