Japan, Kenya and New Zealand will return to the FIA World Rally Championship for 2020 in a refreshed calendar displaying a more global profile.
A decade after it last featured in the WRC fixture list, Japan marks mainstream Asia’s first appearance in the series since then.
The addition of Kenya’s iconic Safari Rally, one of global motorsport’s legendary contests, means the WRC returns to Africa, the world’s second largest continent by size, for the first time since 2002.
It is the first time the WRC has included six continents – Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia – in its 48-year history. Not since 1999 have Africa and Asia appeared side-by-side in the fixture list.
“It’s no secret we wanted to further globalise the series by incorporating more events outside Europe and we’ve achieved that next year with this exciting new-look calendar,” said Oliver Ciesla, managing director of WRC Promoter, which owns the championship’s commercial rights.
All three countries were confirmed on a 14-round schedule approved by the FIA, world motorsport’s governing body. Their promotion follows the introduction of a second South American round in Chile this year.
The full 2020 calendar is: