The 2020 WRC calendar features 14 additional rallies, six of which will take place outside of Europe. The season traditionally begins on January 23 with the Monte-Carlo Rally and ends on November 22 in Japan. The Asian country is one of three newcomers to the 2020 calendar, ten years after Japan was last allowed to host a World Championship rally in 2010.
In addition to the return of Japan, Kenya and New Zealand will also make their return next year. Kenya could host a world championship rally for the first time next year from July 16-19 after a 17-year absence, while New Zealand will replace neighboring Australia next year.
Much like Australia, Corsica and Spain will not return to the World Cup schedule next year. It is part of the strategy of the WRC organization, which aims to give the championship a more global appearance.
“To further globalize the championship, we need more rallies outside of Europe,” said Yves Matton, rally manager on behalf of the FIA Motorsport Federation. “I am delighted that Kenya and Japan are returning to the calendar next year, while New Zealand will replace Australia. With iconic rallies in Europe, we will provide a balanced calendar to preserve the DNA of the sport.”
Due to the large number of countries interested in hosting a World Rally Championship, the championship will start using a rotation system from next year, especially for European rounds. For example, next year it will be Spain’s turn to skip a year, but the event in Catalonia will return to the calendar in 2021, to the detriment of another rally on European soil.